Links 3/28/2021

Investors hunt for source of fire sale that sent stocks tumbling FT

Questions raised over cause of Ever Given grounding Lloyd’s List. Final sentence: “If it does turn out to be the bank effect, questions will need to be answered over how a ship that was under the control of a Suez Canal pilot was allowed to get so close to the shore.” Alternatively:

Suez Canal: Effort to refloat wedged container ship continues BBC. Prematurely triumphal tugboats:

Not enough of you tried hard enough:

The Chinese Logistical Sublime and Its Wasted Remains The Disorder of Things. From 2015, Container ship ethnography. From the following thread recommending reading on logistics:

$100 million geoengineering project proposed, to dim the sun Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Easier to imagine dimming the sun than ending capitalism….

#COVID19

A rare clotting disorder may cloud the world’s hopes for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Science

Rising Covid Case Counts in the Young Test U.S. Vaccine Strategy Bloomberg

COVID-19 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. From the Conclusions: “COVID-19 mRNA vaccines generated robust humoral immunity in pregnant and lactating women, with immunogenicity and reactogenicity similar to that observed in non-pregnant women. Vaccine-induced immune responses were significantly greater than the response to natural infection. Immune transfer to neonates occurred via placenta and breastmilk.” n = 131.

We Ran Tests on Every State’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website The Markup

Franklin Graham Unfazed after Evangelical Base Blasts Him for Encouraging Vaccines The Roys Report

Another thread on getting vaccinated:

This kind of operation, apparently, is something we seem to have the capacity to do, unlike building registration websites that work, for example.

Scientist warns that unfettered international travel could ‘undo vaccine progress’ Canary. No duh. How else do variants cross the oceans?

Universities Are Still Gambling With Students’ Lives Current Affairs

The missing students of the pandemic WaPo

No flu season:

China?

US fears China is flirting with seizing control of Taiwan FT

12 Arrested in Hebei for Fabricating Emission Data Sixth Tone

Myanmar

Myanmar security forces kill over 100 protesters in ‘horrifying’ day of bloodshed Reuters. On Armed Forces Day.

International Chiefs of Defense Condemn Use of Lethal Force in Burma United States Department of Defense. I am sure authoritarians around the world are following the simplicity and directness of the Tatmadaw’s tactics with great interest:

Myanmar’s ethnic rebels isolate junta ahead of Armed Forces Day Nikkei Asian Review. I think “isolate” is a bit strong. Nevertheless, Myanmar Federalism grows out of the barrel of a gun. Given the givens:

But holy moley:

Japan to give people a choice on which vaccine to receive Japan Times

Why QAnon Flopped in Japan NYT. “‘It’s too naïve for our readership,’ Takeharu Mikami, the editor of Mu [Japan’s leading purveyor of shadowy phenomena] since 2005, told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper last month.”

Syraqistan

Iran and China sign 25-year cooperation agreement Al Jazeera. The Blob, good job.

“Here it is, the truffle, a blessing from God!” Reuters. Ditto.

US Intelligence Warns Withdrawal Could Lead To Afghanistan Being Controlled By Afghans Caitlin Johnstone. Ditto.

How do we talk about rebel groups? Africa Is a Country

UK/EU

What A Week Craig Murray. His site is back up.

As things stand, the chances of defeating Johnson at the next election are miniscule Mainly Macro

Why some Britons will have to leave EU countries by March 31st The Local

Mexico’s real COVID-19 death toll now stands at over 321,000 AP

As daily deaths near 4,000, worst may lie ahead for Brazil AP

Biden Administration

Biden’s New Foreign Policy Hire Considers Sanctions an Art Form The Nation

Joe Biden Just Fixed Obamacare’s “Subsidy Cliff” The Bulwark

Biden fires majority of DHS advisory council members The Hill

Biden Doesn’t Need to Be FDR or LBJ to Change America Eric Levitz New York Magazine

Postal banking, alcohol delivery could save the U.S. Postal Service, experts say NBC

Democrats en Deshabille

Democrats loved Katie Porter when she bashed Trump. Now she is making them squirm Los Angeles Times

Why Georgia’s New Voting Law Is Such A Big Deal FiveThirtyEight

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Harvard punishes professor who had ties to Jeffrey Epstein AP

P*ssing on Pedestrians London Review of Books. On Robert Maxwell.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The hidden fingerprint inside your photos BBC

Our Famously Free Press

Alternatives to Censorship: Interview With Matt Stoller Matt Taibbi, TK News. Stoller: “The question isn’t whether Alex Jones should have a platform. The question is, should YouTube have recommended Alex Jones 15 billion times through its algorithms so that YouTube could make money selling ads?”

Incoming TNR Editor Lays Out Boring Vision For Magazine In “Depressing” Meeting With Staff Defector

Health Care

Amazon, on the move in health care, is granted authorization for its own Covid-19 test STAT

Democrats Gave Americans a Big Boost Buying Health Insurance. It Didn’t Come Cheap. Kaiser Health News. You can pump more blood into a zombie, but it’s still a zombie.

‘Surprise and shock’: Was a key guideline for screening autism wrong for years? Academic Times. The NICE Clinical Guidelines, from the UK.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

JAMA Editor Placed on Leave After Deputy’s Comments on Racism JAMA

An Antiracist Agenda for Medicine Boston Review

Imperial Collapse Watch

Inspiring! This infantryman traded Marine camouflage for a Papa John’s uniform Duffel Blog

Guillotine Watch

Smuggling, price-gouging, dognapping: True tales from inside the great pandemic puppy boom Fortune

“They Are Three Hours From the City, Not in New Guinea”: A Wave of New Yorkers Displaced by Covid Is Upending the Hamptons Social Order Vanity Fair

A Private Tech City Opens for Business in Honduras MSN (Re Silc). Franchulates?

Class Warfare

Senator Bernie Sanders headlines a pro-union Amazon rally in Bessemer Alabama Public Radio

Amazon Improves Workplace Conditions By Installing Open Waste Grates On Warehouse Floors The Onion

The Battle for Chattanooga: Toxic Masculinity, Ableism, & Anti-Union Campaign at Volkswagen Payday Report

A Rich Man’s War, A Poor Man’s Fight Frank Interviews

New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica unions authorize strike. NYT

The Lost Omidyar Chapter: Part I Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

What Happens When Investment Firms Acquire Trailer Parks The New Yorker

America’s first 3D-printed neighborhood is ‘the future of housing’ The Hill. $595,000 a pop? Really?

The Quest to Tell Science from Pseudoscience Boston Review

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

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.

177 comments

    1. km

      Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.
      — Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
      http://www.mit.edu/people/fuller/peace/war_goering.html

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        km
        March 28, 2021 at 10:01 am
        I remember the first time I read that – I thought it was fake. After looking into it further, it is definitely true. It is the most profound thing I ever learned about politics. How is it that the most insightful thing I believe was ever said about going to war was spoken not by any of my teachers, or any US politician, or any media pundit, but by a Nazi leader?
        I would suggest that it is too true for general acknowledgement in the USA

        Reply
        1. km

          I encounter quite a few people who insist that the quote is fake. It’s not, but whatever.

          Even if the quote were 100% pure fabrication, neither Hermann Goering nor Gustave Gilbert ever existed and the Nuremberg trials never happened, the quote still accurately describes observable reality.

          Reply
    2. harry

      I imagine that’s why they had a debt jubilee every 49 years. Otherwise why would debtors fight for their creditors?

      Reply
  1. timbers

    Scientist warns that unfettered international travel could ‘undo vaccine progress’ Canary. No duh. How else do variants cross the oceans?

    How about a travel tax? Say, $1,000 for each new continent? Or maybe $5,000? or $10,000?

    Am seeing all sorts of proposals for taxes on the working folk peasantry. Massachusetts wants to raise gas taxes so it can make public transportation free, to avoid clogging the roads. Needless to say clogging something only done by working folk peasants. The VIP’s aren’t clogging they’re driving to work a practicing safe social distancing. And how about taxing Amazon with a hefty corporate income tax or say a 10% surcharge on corporate revenue (not sales so it can’t be passed on as sales tax to consumer but corporate revenue…whatever it takes to make Jeff Bezos pay the bill not us) and tax each of their delivery vehicles $15.000//yr because they are clogging the roads forcing me and fellow peasantry to negotiate around them as they make deliveries while stopped in the road. And also may tax those vehicles an additional $50,000/yr if the don’t have porto potties.

    And this?
    Pete Buttigieg vehicle miles tax: how would it work?
    The White House has announced a possible tax on drivers’ mileage to help fund President Joe Biden’s proposed $3 trillion US infrastructure plan.

    Why just cars? How about taxing Pete $!0,000 and his kind – Chuck Schumer, Clintons, Trumps, Pelosi’s – $10.000 per airline seat for every interstate flight they. make. And stipulate this can not be reimbursed as job related travel but be paid for out of their own pockets. Ok, maybe that’s to harsh. But all the non government elites will still have to pay and they will not like it one bit.

    Reply
    1. flora

      This only makes sense if you think everyone is going to be driving an electric vehicle.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-12/by-the-mile-vehicle-tax-to-help-fund-infrastructure-gains-steam


      Vehicle tax mile already exists in the form of fed taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. These fuel taxes go to the national Highway Trust Fund.

      The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Highway Trust Fund tax revenue will total $43 billion in fiscal year 2020 (figure 1). Revenue from the federal excise tax on gasoline ($25.8 billion) and diesel fuel ($10.5 billion) accounts for 84 percent of the total. The remaining trust fund tax revenue comes from a sales tax on tractors and heavy trucks, an excise tax on tires for heavy vehicles, and an annual use tax on those vehicles. In addition to dedicated tax revenue, the trust fund receives a small amount of interest on trust fund reserves.

      https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-highway-trust-fund-and-how-it-financed

      And, longer form:
      https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-05/56346-CBO-Highway-Reauthorization.pdf

      If lil’Pete wants a mileage tax only on electric vehicles, that might change the personal calculations of people thinking of buying electric vehicles. If he wants mileage taxes on top of already high federal fuel taxes for all vehicles, including standard engine vehicles … didn’t they try something like that in France recently? / ;)

      Reply
      1. timbers

        You miss my point, maybe I was not clear: many of us pay taxes each year on our cars. Politians want to raise our taxes. I and many others use our cars an hour a day while Jeff Bezos had an entire fleet of trucks running 14 hours or more a day. Yes there are different car taxes such as commercial/non commercial. Target Bezos and wealthy elites like him that get rich using the roads I helped pay for, for tax increases….not the peasants.

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          I think a $10,000 surcharge per amazon delivery vehicle is a great idea. Say it’s for the children, that seems to be the go to these days.

          Reply
      2. RepubAnon

        I agree that a mileage tax is regressive, especially in the “lower-paid service personnel can’t work from home” era.

        Simple solution: Electric cars need to be charged. Add a tax per kilowatt hour (KWH) to the chargers, and the electric car highway tax “problem” is solved.

        NOTE: My home charger tells me how many KWH I added when I charge the car, and they have my credit card info for times when I use one of their public charging stations – easy enough for them to collect the tax and provide their customers with an annual report. Alternatively, the power company could put a separate meter on the charger circuit, and add the highway tax there.

        Yes, I can plug it into the wall, and wait 2-3 days for the car to recharge – I could also buy a diesel car, install an oil heater in my house, and siphon oil from the heater’s tank to fuel my car. Problem: diesel fuel sold for heating (or agricultural purposes) has a dye added to detect this trick. For electric cars, the long charging times on a 15 amp circuit would tend to make this an insignificant problem, as the car would sit on the charger more hours than it was driven. One could always use the smog check sites to send annual mileage reports to the government – drivers who couldn’t show paying any highway taxes could instead be charged a fee upon registration renewal.

        In short, the “let’s install GPS trackers showing where everyone travelled” solution is overly complex, and is a threat to privacy. There are easier solutions – hopefully via non-regressive taxation.

        Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If it can be successfully branded in the public mind as a problem, then the establishment will not be able to force it into existence as a secret feature.

            And they will be forced to fall back on ” reading the odometer every so often”. And it would be easy to make tamper-PROOF odometers.

            Reply
    2. Arby

      Mileage tax on private airplanes and jets. 1% of air travelers generate 50% of CO2 emissions attributed to air travel.

      Two birds. One stone.

      Reply
      1. Eclair

        Yes. But Bill Gates uses ‘sustainable jet fuel’ when he flies his private jet to the climate talks in Paris. And, he buys carbon offsets for his Porsche. (And I am sure that all the toilets in his 24 bathroom house in Medina are low flush.)

        I am pushing for yuuge mileage/gas taxes on those lumbering bottled beverage delivery trucks. Do we need thousands of cans and plastic (ugh!) bottles of carbonated, sugary, caffeinated drinks? Really?

        Beer delivery trucks would be exempt, of course.

        Reply
          1. Eclair

            I forgot to put the “/s” on my comment about Bill and his fleet of private jets and Porsches. And, extend the tax to fuel on the yachts littering the shores of Lake Washington. Had to wait on the Ballard Bridge the other day, as it was raised to accommodate the passage of a big white yacht. Did nothing for my blood pressure. Of course, I was driving a gas-powered automobile, emitting an average of 4.6 metric tons of carbon per year.

            Reply
      2. JP

        What’s the difference if you tax delivery and shipping or raise corporate taxes? Businesses will only raise prices to maintain profits. Cost of living rises then labor has cause to raise wages. That is called inflation. What needs to change is how the economy is shared. Maybe targeted taxes can provide an incentive to promote greater equality but I am pretty sure that road taxes are better spent on infrastructure and high enough to discourage aimless driving.

        Reply
    3. Pookah Harvey

      How about a 90% tax bracket on incomes over $1,000,000 to pay for a return of the Commons (Roads, Education, Parks. etc)? You know, like we had under Eisenhower.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Federal taxes don’t pay for Federal spending.

        Soaking the rich is good (1) to prevent them from buying the government with their loose cash, (2) to prevent the development of an aristocracy of inherited wealth, and (3) for the sake of their children, since inherited wealth often creates great unhappiness and dysfunction.

        However, these are policy objectives, not “pay for” objectives.

        Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            One way that I have heard that expressed is that if you can pay your taxes to a government that issues it, then it is a currency – fiat or otherwise.

            Reply
          2. JP

            Let me reiterate: What needs to change is how the economy is shared. It will require a more comprehensive approach then taxing the rich. I’m not opposed to eating them.

            Reply
        1. Basil Pesto

          (3) for the sake of their children, since inherited wealth often creates great unhappiness and dysfunction.

          Do you have any further reading on this? I don’t doubt it, I’m just curious to read further.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            The data says an income higher than what you need to pay for necessities, some amusements, and provide for a safety buffer does not make you happier.

            Lotto winners have high suicide rates.

            Among the very rich, there are plenty of flavors of misery: the gambler, the person who tries their hand at real work and knows they are viewed with suspicion (as in not being very good because they never had to try hard), the alcoholic, the playboy…

            For instance:

            The ones who do get on well seem to be sportsmen (that includes explorers), artists, collectors, and philanthropists (the real kind, not Bill Gates mercenaries).

            Reply
    4. JTMcPhee

      Repeat after me: Taxes are instruments of policy, to discourage or encourage selected behaviors or favored persons or interests. Taxes do not fund the Federal government, not even the tailpipe dreams of Pete Buttigieg.

      And in all of this, how effective would a tax, that would no doubt be gamed in favor of the Effing Few and their predilections, be on people whose mantra (always ignoring the externalities they excrete on us Lessers) is “I can AFFORD it, peasants!”?

      Reply
  2. Amfortas the hippie

    So weatherpain, from the cold front, with it’s steep pressure gradient—as evidenced by the howling north wind—woke me up at 3am(at least it’s not really cold…a mere 55)
    so I finally picked up McCarraher’s “The Enchantments of Mammon”, and read the prologue by candle light (an act of will to attempt to undo the pandemic’s strangest epiphenomenon, the inability to read a physical, hold in your hand, Book)

    I’m much in agreement with the outline presented therein, and look forward to continuing.
    I’m attuned to his worldview, because I share it…he quotes Polanyi, Ruskin, Blake…and name-drops Roszak, Mumford and Lasch…and reminded me of a guy I link to sometimes…prolly my favorite deepthinking crazy person, today, Rhyd Wildermuth.
    So: https://abeautifulresistance.org/site/2021/2/21/the-time-of-your-life

    –”Universal education is hardly only about enlightening children, but also about making them time-disciplined workers, ever more productive than their parents. In schools we are punished for being late, our marks on papers reduced just as pay is docked for tardyness, all to systematically continue the War on Time the early industrialists waged against the lazyness of humans.
    Time-discipline is taught in our youth because Capital thinks not with the mind of Nature, but the mind of the Machine. We must be managed, both internally and externally, so that the great cogs and gears of Profit grind on, even as our own time is crushed into death by the logic of the wealthy and powerful.
    Internalizing machine-time is not about developing a discipline, it is about undergoing discipline. It is a management, an un-wilding of our nature. We become more like the machines which control us, forgetting who created whom, and like many other modern enslavements, Paganism and Witchcraft stand against it.”

    I loathe being lashed to the clock…which only really happens in my life, today, when we have to do wife’s cancer stuff.
    When my arthritis, dead hip and crushed ankle dictated that I could no longer promise a boss that i’d be there tomorrow, it was a major blow to my sense of self, my place in the world, agency to act in that world, and my ability to “earn a living”.
    It was also a blessing…regarding unemployment as a Boon from the Goddess is probably the most egregious sin possible, today.
    So, after the hip replacement(ankle is still made of ennervated gravel, and the rest of me hurts all the time), I set about arranging my life to accommodate these limitations…I built this house over 4 years…taking as much as a month “off” when I needed to…but forcing myself to go “to work” if I could. (house construction as physical therapy)That transitioned into my current methodology of work…my 5 acre portion of this 20 acre place is a country, with a balance of payment problem….and I methodically wander around it and attempt to mitigate dependencies…food security, energy independence, etc etc.
    if I make my own tomato, I don’t have to make the dollar to buy a tomato in the first place.
    Also, infrastructure…in order to lower the labor burden…it’s easier to run out and butcher a chicken for dinner if I have a Place dedicated to that, and the necessary equipment in place, ready to go.
    Back to time…i wake up generally at 4am…3am during winter time regime…without an alarm. It has always been thus…and I don’t know why, since i’ve never worn a watch, and usually don’t know what day it is, and am always surprised when I wander past a clock(wife keeps a few) and suddenly realise that i’ve glided through my tasks for 6 hours straight(so that’s why I hurt…lol)
    anyhoo…I’ve done the naked jointwalk and am rambling…
    check out Rhyd. He’s worth your time(ha!)

    and, here’s a classic from Rhyd:
    https://godsandradicals.org/2017/04/07/the-world-without-forms/
    “I suspect we shun this power for two reasons. First, anyone returning from the Abyss with such mythic visions, transcending the egregores by which the rest of us are ruled, will always be initially marked as a heretic or an outcast. Only when we find others who have seen the same things or who find meaning in these new dreams can such mystics find acceptance. The other reason? We’ve so long ago ceded to others our power to make the world that we are more happy to leave such delvings to the Fascists than realize we are complicit in our own enchainment “

    Reply
    1. Dave

      A bit off topic, but after double hip replacement, I cured my arthritis by eliminating all dairy. It took a couple of months to kick in, but I’ve been pain free for almost 10 years.

      Reply
  3. LawnDart

    Well, as a pizza delivery man he is doing his part to feed the hungry, he’s not hurting anyone, and people are happy to see him.

    As a veteran, let me thank the Papa John’s delivery personnel (and the makers of pizza!) for their service… ….yes, thank you for your service!

    Reply
    1. Maritimer

      For some of us, school was torture, cruel and unusual punishment. I spent most of my time looking out the window at freedom. I can remember when I did happily skip school being on the lookout for the cops since in those days the cops were also on the lookout for truants.

      In high school, we had one kid who had a girlfriend who would call the school office for him saying Johnny Boy had to come home because of choose: dog died, Mom sick, Granny ill, etc. The Authorities at this strict Catholic corporal punishment school never, never caught on. Much to all our joy and ectasy. Somewhat like when the Bogart Felons successfuly go over the Prison Wall. Johnny Boy used to tell us about his and galpal’s adventures when on the lam. One of the few happy memories of school.

      Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          They say, “Don’t worry about it and vote for them anyway. You can ‘push’ them ‘left’ later.”

          Reply
          1. km

            “We’ll hold their feet to the fire!” LoL.

            And just how do you propose to force them left, now that they already got what they wanted from you and you have nothing more to offer?

            Reply
  4. TomDority

    #D printed housing
    From article:
    -Mighty Buildings says it can manufacture homes twice as quickly with 95 percent less labor hours and 10 times less waste than conventional construction with its process. –
    My opinion – Can’t have labor earning any money to buy these things so lets throw out a highly constrained number of ten times less waiste at it – yea thats’ it – and never mind all that infrustructure bull&$% – electricity, sanitation, ventilation and repairability or modifications if we missed something while designing this investement scheme… errr… uhhh I mean Home.
    From Article
    -“This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing – able to be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic,”-
    My opinion – so how do we verbally dress up this absolutly crappy, economically disconected terd shack of an investement scheme err – turd shack – I mean home. It will certainly augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic when they compare it to our terd shack er um I mean our vision for the future of housing!!

    Now – I am all for passive housing built and integrated in a sustainable way… with a net zero or negative energy equation – all for it and it is do-able with planning, materials and technology that has been available for decades now, but for the avirice of men and the greed of the developer…and the drive of taxation toward sprawl… well it’s no wonder that this 3D printing would be used in this canard of a manner.
    Well you all know…its me just yammering and opinionating.

    Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      TomDority, 3D printed houses are on the way and additive manufacturing adds the possibility of substantially increasing the strength and reducing the weight of components.
      Additive manufacturing is a transformative technology which has just begun to be exploited , you can make things that are simply not possible with reductive manufacturing.
      Even if these guys are con men I’m glad to see it applied to housing, the choice of mid century modern design is fashionable and the proposed pricing is impressive.
      Low end is $595K, which I assume means a bare unlandscaped lot and the cheaper trim/appliance package.
      Rancho Mirage ain’t cheap and if that City is in line with Sebastopol the building permit for each home will run $80K and the lots probably cost the builder something in excess of $100K each for bare dirt.
      Sewers, Power, Roads, Sidewalks, Streetlights….
      With materials costs where they are being able to sell a bare bones modern “Mid Century Modern” home of 1450 Sq Ft for $595K and make a profit looks pretty impressive.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        There is something inherently wrong with a “business model” that freezes out the majority of the population from having a home to live in that they can afford to own and maintain.
        Let the smart people here refute me if I err, but, renting is essentially subsidized home ownership for the rentier class. Thus, establishing the half a million dollar mark as the ‘baseline’ for single family building costs, sets the system up to create massive inequality on all fronts.
        As commenters here have attested recently, homelessness is already on the rise. If not addressed in a structural manner, it will soon be a major social stressor in America. America no longer has the option of “going back to the farm” during hard times to rely on. The small family farm is almost extinct here. Those homeless hordes will fester in place until something, or someone, triggers them.
        I wonder how fireproof these new 3D printed houses are?

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          drove past a place that always has shipping containers for sale, and it made me think about the recent stories about all the “lost” containers , somewhere in america…
          heck, the 20,000 containers that are on that one giant ship stuck in the mud is enough to solve homelessness in Austin, San Antonio and maybe a few other places in Texas.
          (assuming a place could be found to put them.(thinking of a few frou frou golf courses i know of,lol)
          https://www.containerdiscounts.com/blog/affordable-shipping-container-housing-in-the-lone-star-state

          (of course, there are issues with this(https://www.treehugger.com/whats-wrong-shipping-container-housing-one-architect-says-everything-4858699), but it would be a fast and cheap method of housing folks, especially if function prevailed over form)

          Reply
          1. campbeln

            Insulation is a major problem with converting shipping containers to housing.

            Though, on the plus side… after the next Texas freeze, just bundle up the locky end of the container and drop the… remains… in the ocean. Quick, clean and we get artificial reefs to boot so we can greenwash it, easy!

            Homeless housing, quick national disaster recovery and thinking green all in one go. Yep, we’ll see this implemented by our “leaders” sooner rather than later.

            Reply
    2. wadge22

      The 3D printed houses in today’s link look a little on the ’boutique’ side of things, as people are pointing out. But that doesn’t mean the tech has to be that way. Here is a post with info on several other implementations primarily focused on concrete printing, including plenty of videos.
      To my mind, concrete 3D printing on an architectural scale has more profound implications than composite or metal 3D printing on a part scale, which gets much more media attention. But perhaps that is the machinist in me talking, and if I was in construction I might be singing a different tune…

      Reply
      1. Tom Stone

        Wadge, well designed 3D printed structures will be significantly less expensive to build in only a few years.
        Like you I think concrete printing offers some very interesting possibilities, honeycombs come to mind…

        Reply
      2. skippy

        The issue with so much of this based off a Carnegie mentality where labour in puts are the weakest bargaining chip vs other inputs with strong bargaining power and sell it as lower cost to the unwashed.

        Next drama is this is all CAD driven which never seems to reconcile the realities on sight, toss in some perverse incentives and you have VaR like dramas or executive feed back loops with equities et al. So reminiscent of gang nail plates used in off site roof truss construction along with carpenters reduced to shimming to get some degree of plum. It all rolls down hill from there imo …

        Might I ask if any of you have worked on a construction site.

        Reply
        1. wadge22

          I pretty much agree w/ paragraph 1. But thats more a “the bosses” problem than an issue with “the machine.”

          As for not trusting CAD… How many hand drafted prints are being used these days in any industry? I’m very familiar with things on the print not being the same as things in the real world that the worker sees.
          I’ve often wanted to personally drive a random selection of the castings I am working with directly to an engineers desk and bring my calipers. Or explain to my boss that this machine is not going to hold that tolerance in this material with that tool, even if the model in the CAM simulation does.
          But really, doesn’t every trade think they are the ones “making engineers look good?”

          No I have never done paid work in construction. My father worked in residential and commercial construction for all of my lifetime till his retirement. And I have remodeled two houses.

          The Mammon worshipers will be in charge no matter what technology we discuss, but that shouldn’t damn the machines themselves as well.

          Reply
    3. skippy

      Jobs proceed any discussion of housing, not that the advent of the post WWII home build was the result of an Army engineer taking what he learned back to the old family business in P.A. and the first suburb created. Then came Milton Friedman and fiends ….

      Anywho the first thing one needs to look at is what warranties come with a product, think the rapid decline in homes during the GFC once abandoned would be a tell.

      On the other hand industry has been deskilling and lowering material standards for decades whilst pocketing the difference. The sales[tm] jargon is just another sign of the MBA/Marketing takeover of the industry away from the experienced trades people.

      On the other hand RE these days is correlated to REMBS investor demand, without that, there would be no funds to begin building at onset.

      Reply
  5. DanP66

    The melodrama from the kid in the Current Affairs article is just gross.

    I agree with her gripes about college being a large scam job to rake in huge amounts of debt slaves to benefit a bunch administrators and faculty.

    Her take on COVID…over the top. Kind of pathetic.

    Reply
    1. cocomaan

      Like this:

      It seems that colleges care more about their academic prestige and the profit gained from donors, investments, and the student body than anything else.

      I’ve done fundraising for colleges and universities before. I’d love to know where people think money for is going to come from absent the university development department.

      Tuition just doesn’t pay all the bills. It especially doesn’t pay the bills for new programs. When I was writing grants and working with donors, my work was pretty much 100% of the new programs offered on campus, all on soft money. When the alumni magazine came out, I could point to damn near every initiative and say that my hand was in it. Some of those could be institutionalized via an endowment, some couldn’t, but the point is that without the development department the institutions would be offering the same thing year over year.

      Is this the way it SHOULD be? Probably not. But it’s the reality of it. It’s the reason I mostly got out of that area of fundraising. Higher ed has become bloated and tuition continues to skyrocket and not cover the bills.

      She could go to a community college, but she likes that prestige!!!

      Good on her for starting to understand the role of a Board of Directors: it’s as much a fundraising device as it is a mission steering committee.

      Reply
    2. Count Zero

      Yes, with the best will in the world, it’s hard to be sympathetic to this student’s sense of entitlement. The complaints here are unremittingly self-centred. There’s no sense that teaching staff and administrators are grappling with a very difficult situation and unprecedented demands. Everybody is merely there to serve his demands.

      It’s been a horrible year for students, yes — but it’s been pretty horrible for most people who work on University campuses. Transforming teaching to online learning can be difficult and time-consuming — especially working from home with children buzzing around because schools are closed. Older academic staff are also considerably more vulnerable to covid19 than most young students. For many untenured teaching staff their position is extremely insecure and stressful. So sympathy is a two-way street. This student has a lot to learn about cooperation.

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      J G Ballard had a plot based on this idea in his book “Super-Cannes.” It’s a sort of murder mystery wrapped up in techno-futurism.
      Like most Ballard tales, an interesting read.
      Niven and Pournelle did a related take on the idea in their “Oath of Fealty.”
      It’s about living in an arcology in Los Angeles in the “near future.”

      Reply
  6. Dalepues

    Ever Given, stuck boat. A neighbor who works overseeing the loading/unloading of containers in the Mobile Alabama port says the only way they will move that grounded vessel is to unload it, by removing hundreds of thousands of tons of weight. He says the dredging is only good for the distance dredged, that the dredgers would have to cut a channel deep enough to reach the main deep water channel, and do it rapidly before the temporarily dredged channel refills with sand and sediment.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I can’t source it except to say that I heard it on a TV news program but….that ship was apparently in a rush to get through the Suez Canal and a women on the ship that followed the ‘Ever Given’ into the Canal said that it had cut them off as they were about to enter the Canal themselves. Interesting if confirmed.

      Reply
    2. Michael Ismoe

      If I was a terrorist and saw how much attention and economic apprehension the ship is causing and I could think that airplanes might not be my preferred mode of transport anymore. Do they have TSA at the ports?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It depends on the goals of the terrorists. Al Qaeda types aren’t necessarily interested in causing you or me problems (people outside Islamic heavy areas, heck, they barely acknowledge Israel), or they haven’t traditionally. They mostly want us to be removed so they can terrorize and rule bizarre caliphates. Even then, most of that kind want things to work, just with more brutalization of women. Bin Laden was living in a university town, not the Islamic Valley Forge. He and his cronies were out for revenge by 2001 and thumbing their nose at DC while making sure their rockstar status wasn’t undone.

        Reply
    3. chuck roast

      Kedging: an operation performed by a grounded ship wherein an anchor is carried from the grounded craft and dropped in the deep water that the craft intends to move to. The anchor chain is then attached to the ship’s windlass (or capstan) and the motor driven apparatus acts to pull the boats grounded bow towards the anchor thus freeing the ship. Roast, much to his embarrassment, has had to perform this operation himself on more than one occasion.

      Reply
    4. Jeotsu

      If I were the sort to play with billion in market manipulations, I’d look at these sorts of mishaps as an opportunity for profit.
      How much would you have to pay a pilot/captain to make a ‘mistake’? If you’d pre-loaded your market positions, the return could be monumental.
      No to stoke CT (since the chance of idiocy greatly outweighs malice here), you can’t help but fear how malignant players are now seeing these points of vulnerability.

      Reply
    1. Dictynna

      They will probably be to embarrassed to admit trying this, so they don’t get teased by younger relatives.

      Reply
  7. anEnt

    Re: no flu season

    We’re still in collective denial about what is happening, I think. It seems obvious to me that Covid-19 and its descendants are the new flu.

    Having read published correspondence of a few early 20th century figures (e.g. C.S. Lewis) it is obvious that the flu used to be a bigger deal than it has been in recent decades. Lewis for example would mention being down with the flu for weeks to a month. I can’t remember anyone I know being knocked so flat by the old flu that they were unable to work, especially in academia. Lewis fought in WWI so it seems reasonable to me that Lewis was made of tougher stuff than most current academics.

    What I think is happening now is that COVID-19 is culling the weakest and most genetically and epigenetically predisposed to succumb to it. Once that process is complete I expect that we’ll see it gradually settle down into an annual pattern as the old flu it is replacing disappears.

    It is long since we have experienced natural selection and we’re not doing what we need to in order to avoid it. For what other purpose do we have the punishing burden of consciousness and intellect? This is a moral failure, especially for those of us who are religious or spiritual.

    The flu is dead. Long live the flu.

    Reply
    1. harry

      i sort of agree but would suggest its the new cold. Turns out that maybe colds really were a much bigger deal a few hundred years ago.

      After all, its a corona virus

      Reply
    2. JohnMc

      i think we’re in collective denial about the work of hope-simpson – his 50 years of studying respiratory viruses down the memory hole. here is a brief discussion of how new pathogens replace those already in circulation, exactly how things played out this past year:

      https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-unexpected-case-of-the-disappearing-flu-64fd1fa5e909

      and here is some discussion of other ‘anomalies’ associated with influenza epidemics: https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29

      the questions raised strongly suggest (at least to me) that human efforts to mitigate epidemics are mostly wishful thinking, a proposition difficult to accept for those prone to action bias.

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        I recall the flu epidemic of 58/59 where one half of my Bording School’s pupils were ill, and when infected one was out of class for about a week.

        Flu season was the first quarter of the year for many years.

        The waves of sickness in the UK was a part of the reason my parent were ex-pats.

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        thanks for the first one.
        I’ve been thinking along the same lines in regards to why i didn’t get covid, when wife and both sons did.
        since moving out here to the texas hill country, 26 years ago, i’ve developed year round allergies….beginning with the notorious Cedar Fever(mountain juniper) after i almost had anaphalaxia when tending goats and getting into a cloud of that hateful pollen. this is accompanied by serial sinus infections…usually mild, and untreated, save for my usual healthy diet and nasal lavage.
        of course, wife and kids have this, too…but they were at an exposure event for 5-6 hours(…while i have avoided people for the duration…)might be possible that their near-constant allergies/latent sinusitis could be the reason their cases were so mild(even with her cancer…but she had been off chemo for a month).
        i remember reading early on that smokers…with the tar or whatever coating the lungs…were doing well with covid, which i thought was funny and interesting…but i never saw anything else. This makes more sense than that.
        I would be interested to see some kind of regional data, that correlates Cedar Fever Country with Covid cases and severity.
        we’ve had a few deaths, out here…mostly old and infirm….and a bunch of cases, which…anecdotally, because we know everybody…have been mostly reported as mild…as in they wouldn’t have known they had it if they hadn’t been tested, chalking it up, instead, to the usual allergies that come with living here.
        that’s an interesting line of investigation, and i hope someone with the proper resources looks into it.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          I have not had a confirmed case, but did have that insidious lingering respiratory infection early last February that gets mentioned whenever the possibility that Covid was here earlier than acknowledged gets discussed.

          I grew up in the Southwest with multiple allergies, some of which I have brought with me to NY, I also developed a late in life allergy to cats that got very bad as in panicking my doctor when they found out how weak my breathing was. Treatment was the only option as my cat wasn’t going anywhere. But I have also had occasional respiratory distress moments with unknown triggers enough that I do have inhalers just in case. Now all of that should mean I would have real difficulties with Covid, unless bad things obstructing access to lung tissue does put a damper on it. See I spent years ironing in small spaces and using a ton of spray starch. And after decades doing that it turns out that spray starch is one of the big no no’s for lungs, not quite as bad as smoking but in the same category as paint . Just nobody knew it and demanded people wear masks.

          Just a long way of saying, I have also wondered if more than my good peasant stock and relatively isolated life style has been a factor in my seeming good luck.

          Reply
    3. voteforno6

      I don’t think we can count out the flu just yet – there are plenty of other species that make a nice reservoir for new strains of the flu to jump over to humans.

      Reply
    4. R

      Flu prior to antibiotics often led to bacterial pneumonia. Surviving that was tough and recovery was slow. Recovery was measured in months. Still is, for people with bad viral infections and/or pneumonia.

      Reply
      1. anEnt

        I suppose Lewis and others could have elided the flu and secondary bacterial infections, but I’m not sure of it…

        Reply
    5. Cuibono

      not likely. Viral competition is well known in general and specifically between corona viruses and influenza viruses.

      Reply
  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Democrats Gave Americans a Big Boost Buying Health Insurance. It Didn’t Come Cheap. Kaiser Health News. You can pump more blood into a zombie, but it’s still a zombie.

    By next year, taxpayers will shell out more than $8,500 for every American who gets a subsidized health plan through insurance marketplaces created by the ACA, often called Obamacare. That’s up an estimated 40% from the cost of the marketplace subsidies in 2020, due to the augmented aid, data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicates.

    For anyone keeping score with the Rule of 72, that’s a double in less than 2 years.

    It’s getting expensive-er and expensive-er to pretend that the u.s. has some sort of a functioning, sustainable “healthcare” system.

    It remains to be seen how much of the nation’s “wealth” the medical-industrial complex will be allowed to continue to claim as its “due,” but it’s clear that biden and the congressional democrats have decided the sky’s pretty much the limit.

    Not sure there’s gonna be much left to fill potholes once Big Medicine and the Big War Machine get through rippin’ the public purse to shreds.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Let’s be blunt, none of this was about healthcare for the plebes.
      Between the climbing expense of premiums and the elimination of the penalty, insurance companies were facing a huge loss as people ran the numbers and figured out how little they were getting for their premium money. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, running the numbers and odds were going to lead to a whole lotta of people deciding to jettison their insurance. If you can avoid the doctor why pay for insurance that you will likely never be able to use except in the case of emergency especially if the terms mean you will go bankrupt paying with or without Insurance.

      This was all about the need to increase the funds needed to continue to subsidize a vampiric corporate system that provides little value to our society but a whole lot of profits for the right people. IOW once again it really is socialism for the rich and practically nothing for the majority.

      Reply
  9. satterle

    What’s going on with New York Covid numbers? I follow 91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/. If you highlight New York on the States/Territories charts, over the past couple of weeks there’s been an unexpected drop and now an enormous spike. I’m not overly prone to tin-foil hats, but the pattern smacks of data manipulation. I haven’t seen any commentary on it – has anyone else?

    Reply
    1. TomDority

      My off the cuff, no data or support would be- Since getting the shot is now priority – no need for the testing – so I would think numbers of tests would go down – numbers of people letting guard down as the shot in the arm seems in sight – so a surge seems likely with the added kick that a varient has probably figured a way to infect more people so as to avoid termination

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With the rate of spread over the winter (we are coming out), vaccinations, and people who can stay safe, the virus despite being dispersed should have had less transmission points. As the immunity comes down from everyone who managed to catch it at a holiday gathering comes down, watch out. Oh, here comes Easter.

        Reply
      2. satterle

        Digging deeper, the charts may justify the testing hypothesis. Has to be the rest of the state because NYC has been chugging along at 3,500+- new cases for weeks. Still remarkable that no commentary.

        Reply
    2. curlydan

      there was a New York “data dump” a few days to almost a week ago where I believe a bunch of missing or unreported data is dumped on one day, increasing all the 7-day averages.

      Reply
    1. Jane

      Captains relinquish command to the pilot when transiting the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. These are the only two places that the Captain is not in control. Even US Navy ships and subs relinquish control.

      Reply
      1. Robert

        I’m not sure about Suez Canal. I think the captain remains in command of the ship there.
        You are correct regarding Panama Canal. And there is one other place the captain relinquishes command: crossing the sill into a drydock.

        Reply
      2. KLG

        Aren’t harbor pilots are in control of every ship entering and leaving a US port. They certainly are in my hometown on the Georgia coast.

        Reply
      3. Wellstone's Ghost

        Captains also relinquish control at the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria Oregon. The river bottom and sandbars are constantly shifting and it is a very shallow delta.

        Reply
        1. Robert

          The Columbia River Bar Pilot is only an advisor to the captain of the ship. He has “control” in the sense that he directs the movement of the ship by giving helm and engine speed orders.
          The ultimate responsibility for the ship lies with the captain. The captain is “in command” of the ship.

          Reply
  10. Burritonomics

    Re: Joe Biden Just Fixed Obamacare’s “Subsidy Cliff”

    Like hell it fixed anything – who cares if it lowers premiums a couple hundred bucks? Those plans don’t pay for squat and the deductibles that need to bet met are too oppressive. If you have a real medical emergency or get a nasty disease you’re headed to bankruptcy or consigned to poverty, regardless.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Wake me up when he gets private equity out of the Emergency Room and air ambulance “businesses.”

      Reply
    2. TomDority

      You figure, that if you believe the subsidies are paid by tax dollars and, the premiums are paid by taxpayers, then all of the premiums are paid by we the people/consumers/’taxpayers. What I don’t get is why we have to pay the conman -middlemen/insurance companies anything — particularly when they don’t provide health care and, only charge a hefty premium to get you access to healthcare.
      I think it time for universal healthcare and not universal warfare among other universes.

      Reply
    3. flora

      Yep. This thread from Wendell Potter is very good. Read the whole thread.

      10 years ago today, on the 1st anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, I wrote about the good things the law did, but stressed that we needed to view it as only the *starting* point of a journey toward needed reform.

      Unfortunately, we have not made much progress on that journey.

      https://twitter.com/wendellpotter/status/1374366043699867651

      The ACA was a bill written by and for the health insurance industry, imo.

      Reply
      1. jo6pac

        I’m sure the only reason demodogs haven’t fixed aca is that nancy p. and friends haven’t read it yet. They will getting to it really soon I’m sure, right after they fix the Post Office;-)

        Reply
      2. tegnost

        10 years into o care and I’m still trying to grok why in our supposedly market based economy citizens are made captive consumers by law so that the price will not come down. I’m in the cliff zone and this new payout to ensure insurance profits continue to rise will have little or no impact on my ability to go to the doctor. If I’m hurt for long enough it drives my income below 12,000/ yr then I have reached the promised land. Speaking of which I think maybe raising the foodstamp outlay for the poors is long overdue, even the one’s who aren’t or don’t have children.

        Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Obamacare was always meant to be the mausoleum holding CanadaCare’s dead embalmed corpse.

        Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      Aye!
      it’s the deductables and the co-pays and other niggling charges shot through everything in such an underhanded and sneaky way.
      the premiums are nothing by comparison.
      if we really can’t have universal healthcare, let us at least have these myriad “Plans” written in ordinary language and a much less confusing way…not in whatever weird dialect they are currently written in.

      I can read James Joyce with not much trouble, fer dog’s sake…but navigating health insurance made my head hurt….and that was just for wife and the boys(with me added, it was too expensive)

      Reply
    5. Tom Stone

      Burritonomics, no shit.
      One trip to the ER and the 3 subsequent days on IV antibiotics ran $142K and change.
      With medicare.

      Reply
    6. Cat Burglar

      The out of pocket maximum on my plans has nearly doubled in the last seven years; it is $7900 now. Biden did nothing about deductible inflation, so I had to laugh about the premium relief announcement. And they wonder why nobody trusts them.

      Reply
      1. Cat Burglar

        But still an amazing article — it costs less now for the government to pay for Medicaid for each individual than private insurance!

        An amazingly understated article, and I will use it as ammunition in every conversation I have about health insurance.

        Reply
          1. Pat

            And the recipient actually gets some healthcare. IIRC a couple of years into ACA coverage Kaiser had a study that made it clear that despite the increase in coverage more people were delaying or forgoing healthcare because they Still couldn’t afford it after the premiums. Nothing about this new subsidy increase makes the non emergency medical care affordable for people.

            Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          ObamaCare was a long-term rolling pre-emptive bailout for Big Insura, as well as being a preventive against CanadaCare.

          Reply
    1. flora

      an aside: Both Merck and now Pfizer are testing a pill anti-viral for C19. Meanwhile, there’s still a near-blackout on information about existing anti-virals and anti-parasitics with anti-viral action that seem to work against C19, for example Ivermctin and others. (Those are off patent and cheap to produce.) Some wags have suggested the new patented C19 anti-viral meds will be called I-mimic-ton or Ima-make-a-ton. /heh

      Seriously, though, if new, safe, and effective anti-virals are found to cure a case of C19, that will be a good thing… if people can afford it.

      Reply
      1. flora

        adding: it’s odd that immunity acquired through prior infection and recovery is dismissed by Dr. F and pharma as not as strong as vaccine acquired immunity. I’ve read several peer reviewed papers/abstracts that come to the conclusion natural infection/recovery does confer good immunity, only very slightly lower than vaccine acquired immunity. So, I don’t know why Dr. F and pharma dismiss that form of immunity.

        Data from the California Department of Public Health, released earlier this month, show that while only 8.7% of the state’s population has ever tested positive for Covid-19, at least 38.5% of the population has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Those numbers are from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20. Adjusting for cases between now and then, and accounting for the amount of time it takes for the body to make antibodies, we can estimate that as many as half of Californians have natural immunity today.

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/herd-immunity-is-near-despite-faucis-denial-11616624554

        Reply
        1. Mme Generalist

          My understanding is that the mRNA vaccines do not claim to confer immunity but rather to reduce symptoms and transmissibility. In other words, they are designed to stop illness (Covid-19) not infection (the SARS-CoV-2 strain of Coronavirus).

          Infections that result in antibody production, especially T-cell antibodies, on the other hand are strongly correlated with immunity to infection from future exposures.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > My understanding is that the mRNA vaccines do not claim to confer immunity but rather to reduce symptoms and transmissibility.

            We encourage links to make sure people have done the reading. From the CDC, “Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work“:

            COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

            mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

            Your understanding is wrong, as a myriad of comments at this site would already have shown you.

            Reply
            1. Mme Generalist

              I should have included the link to the discussion of study results at the CDC website from which I drew my understanding. Here it is. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 2020

              Below are the excerpts from which I drew my understanding.

              The body of evidence for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was primarily informed by one large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II/III clinical trial that enrolled >43,000 participants (median age = 52 years, range = 16–91 years) (5,6). Interim findings from this clinical trial, using data from participants with a median of 2 months of follow-up, indicate that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95.0% effective (95% confidence interval = 90.3%–97.6%) in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in persons without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. [Emphasis added.]

              From the GRADE evidence assessment, the level of certainty for the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was type 1 (high certainty) for the prevention of symptomatic COVID-19. Evidence was type 3 (low certainty) for the estimate of prevention of COVID-19–associated hospitalization and type 4 (very low certainty) for the estimate of prevention of death. Data on hospitalizations and deaths are limited at this time, but a vaccine that effectively prevents symptomatic infection is expected to also prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Regarding potential harms after vaccination, evidence was type 2 (moderate certainty) for serious adverse events and type 1 (high certainty) for reactogenicity. No data were available to assess the efficacy for prevention of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

              Reply
          2. flora

            Yes. Thank you. This about C19 from the NIH:

            https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/lasting-immunity-found-after-recovery-covid-19

            And this is from 2007 about the SARS-1* virus infection immunity, which preceded C19:

            https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/13/10/07-0576_article

            And later from 2020 about SARS-1:

            https://gulfnews.com/uae/how-long-does-immunity-to-sars-coronavirus-last-up-to-17-years-says-study-1.1597735244103

            SARS-2 (C19) is new and therefore no one yet knows how long naturally acquired immunity will last. To say we now know how long immunity to this new disease will last is pure conjecture on everyone’s part, including pharma’s, imo. Time and testing will tell.

            *SARS-1, sometimes known as ‘bird flu’ in the West, from 2002-3, which had a very high death rate, almost 10% if I recall correctly.

            https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/27/bird-flu-sars-china-coronavirus-is-history-repeating-itself/

            Reply
            1. flora

              adding: I hope very much that SARS-2 (C19) immunity, whether acquired naturally or by vaccine, will last 18 years also. But we just don’t know yet. We won’t know until time passes, no matter what anyone claims at this point, imo.

              Reply
            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              > the mRNA vaccines do not claim to confer immunity

              This is wrong. Don’t reinforce it.

              Nobody is claiming immunity is always and forever. That’s not how the immune system works. Ever hear of the concept of a “booster shot”?

              Reply
              1. flora

                My “yes” was to the second para:

                Infections that result in antibody production, especially T-cell antibodies, on the other hand are strongly correlated with immunity to infection from future exposures.

                I should have made my point of agreement clearer. Thanks.

                Reply
    2. Phillip Cross

      Such a strangely written article, did you notice how it looped back and repeated itself in the last few paragraphs?

      Reply
  11. Isotope_C14

    “$100 million geoengineering project proposed, to dim the sun Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Easier to imagine dimming the sun than ending capitalism….”

    I’m having trouble envisioning a method that would actually work to dim the sun, and consequently not reduce photosynthesis which would be required to reverse the CO2 excess in the biosphere.

    I remember that one fellow who insists on spraying sulfuric acid high up in the atmosphere, but that’s gotta cost more than 100-200 million.

    Reply
  12. Alex

    Re the autism cutoff point, if it’s indeed a spectrum, then there is little fundamental difference between 6 and 7, just as having blood pressure of 141 is not meaningfully distinct from 139.

    Reply
    1. SOMK

      It’s not a spectrum, it’s incredibly poorly understood, to this day it is taught to psychiatric students based on Baron-Cohen’s guidelines, Baron-Cohen is part of the problem with his idiotic genderisation of the condition, previously claiming that autism is a form of hyper masculinity (in the neurological sense), meaning women are chronically under diagnosed to this day. For example if you are on the so-called spectrum it is assumed you have “no theory of mind”, this is based off questionnaires where children would be given a scenario where a hypothetical child put a toy in a box, the child leaves the room and a parent opens the box and moves the toy, the subject is asked “where does the child thing they toy is?” and if they answer “I don’t know”, they are marked down as having an autistic trait in that they have demonstrated a lack of theory of mind, however researchers monitoring this process when they asked follow-up questions such as “why don’t you know?” the child may respond something to the effect of “she could think the toy was in the box, or she could have thought it was moved because she heard her mother entering the room and the box being opened and shut, etc.” the “I don’t know” aspect being based off the subjects uncertainty and the fact that you can not truly know what another person is thinking. It could be further argued that so-called neurotypicals lack an autistic theory of mind, and that broadly autistic individuals have superiors theory of mind for neurotypicals because they live in and navigate a neurotypical world and not visa versa. As I understand it, brain imaging particularly of white matter, show a high degree of variation from autistic individual to autistic individual, so it’s a misnomer to consider it as something that operates on a scale of spectrum, as it is highly variant. What the tests seem to measure are a cluster of Mal adaptive social traits, a general kind of not-fittedness (which I would argue modern society in its heightened economically/internet driven alienation increasingly weeds out people who don’t ‘fit’) a square peg won’t fit into a round hole, but just because something doesn’t fit in a round hole doesn’t make it a square (my understanding is a great deal of the classic DSM-type categories such as schizophrenia suffer from a similar over generalisation).

      Speaking from experience when it first clicked with me I ‘had’ it and I called into my local GP, he informed me there was no chance I was autistic as someone on the spectrum wouldn’t have the wherewithal to make a doctor appointment for themselves and make there own way to said appointment, he referred me to shrink who essentially laughed me out of his office, about two years later I ended up on a psychiatric ward, told a room full of doctors my suspicion I had it, they all shook their heads, but I was given an appointment for a full diagnosis nonetheless and was ultimately assessed as having it. Given what a fundamental category it is the general ignorance of mental health professionals about it is shocking, nothing would surprise me. This story seems relatively small potatoes.

      Reply
  13. Amfortas the hippie

    Re: Eric Levitz:
    the rub:
    “Put in more pointed, political terms: With the ARP, the federal government is risking a depreciation in the real value of the economic elite’s bonds and cash holdings for the sake of minimizing involuntary joblessness among the nation’s most vulnerable workers. U.S. fiscal policy has not embodied these priorities — to anywhere near this extent — for a very long time. As such, the ARP is a break with precedent, a paradigm shift, if you will.”

    I remember well the day in my youth when i learned that Bill Clinton had discovered the Bond Market.
    and while i am not sanguine about Biden being FDR-ish…as in, i’ll be really surprised if he turns out to be…I am shocked enough by his(and demparty’s) recent behaviour to temporarily stop throwing feces at them.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Could we be seeing someone deep in the bowels of the Democrat Party realizing that fully unfettered capitalism is the “kiss of death” for the Party?
      Now, to see if the ‘sunsetted’ provisions of the ARP are renewed next year. We could just be the ‘marks’ being played for fools again by the Neo-liberal Nomenklatura.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        “We could just be the ‘marks’ being played for fools again by the Neo-liberal Nomenklatura.”

        Ya think?

        Reply
      2. tegnost

        They’re buying time and talking points…self driving cars and robot dogs are still incipient enterprises, promises to the contrary notwithstanding

        Reply
  14. Tom Stone

    Amforta’s, there’s more than one Schism in the Democratic party right now, as Kamala Harris’s assgignment to the Border/Immigration issue shows.
    Biden is weak and the fight between the Clinton and Obama wings leaves a few openings for positive change.
    And a whole bunch of scary shit like overt censorship and Domestic Repression laws too.
    Interesting times.

    Reply
    1. Barnard

      Don’t be silly, it’s obviously Trump’s fault, the legacy of slavery, redlining and systemic racism.

      Reply
  15. Jason Boxman

    On supply chains.

    The fidget-spinner is the ultimate mascot of rapacious, banal capitalist exploitation. For a time these useless things seemed to be everywhere, entirely vacuous garbage mass produced, shipped across the ocean, marveled at for an instant, then discarded into landfills throughout the nation.

    Truly peak capitalism.

    If anyone in power was serious about climate change, most consumer goods would be banned.

    Reply
  16. juno mas

    RE: Fingerpints on your photos

    The quickest way to obscure metadata of a digital photograph is to open the file on a computer. When it appears on screen select a limited area for a “screenshot”. Save the file as a PNG. (PNG files allow for transparency adjustment—different than a JPEG image.) open the PNG file, change the transparency setting on the file, then save it back as a named JPEG. This complicates forensic analysis.

    This is similar to a practice, I believe, used by NaCap when publishing anonymized images.

    Reply
      1. juno mas

        Actually, the “anecdote” is often “anonymized” by using a photo that has been transferred through ‘capture’ then published. Yves, used a similar technique to anonymize metadata for a photo received from a CalPers source.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      What about doing a screen capture of the image on a screen? You would lose some quality but not that much and it would not include the metadata of the original.

      Reply
    2. Late Introvert

      Most RAW processing software (Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro are the two I own) will let you strip out EXIF data, even from jpgs. If you bought a camera in the past 10 years you probably got software with it that may allow this.

      Reply
  17. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “$100 million geoengineering …”
    Perhaps the geoengineering studies into spraying aerosols into the atmosphere might be turned on their head to use in opposing modernization of the US nuclear arsenal. Otherwise I think they would be a waste of money.

    Reply
    1. occasional anonymous

      Isn’t this plan literally the backstory to Snowpiercer?

      “We’ll solve the problem of the planet being too hot by blocking out the su-oops, now Earth is a frozen wasteland.”

      Reply
    2. Zagonostra

      Don’t understand you’re comment. What’s the connection between geo engineering and nuclear weapons?

      If I were to rank threats to the human species I would rank nuclear cataclysm fist and climate alteration second.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i’ll hazard a guess:
        Nuclear Winter trumps Global Warming.

        ….and again, the philosophical leitmotif of Battlestar Galactica bubbles up: “survival is not enough…we have to deserve to survive”.
        ravenous firemonkeys, f&&ing in the mud.
        sigh.

        Reply
  18. occasional anonymous

    A piece that is both Suez Canal and Syraqistan related: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/28/war-torn-syria-rations-fuel-amid-ongoing-closure-of-suez-canal

    No mention of the fact that a major reason Syria is so dependent on foreign fuel imports now is because the Kurds are occupying most of the Syrian oil and gas fields, the products of which they sell to the ‘moderate rebels’ (al-Qaeda) in Idleb, who then export it to Turkey.

    Far too much of the western left seem convinced that the Kurds are unambiguous ‘good guys’. This is probably due in no small part to what in retrospect was an obvious propaganda campaign to portray them as enlightened heroes (one should be very skeptical when Washington and Langley suddenly embrace a movement of self-described Marxists). The YPJ women’s militias in particularly got a huge amount of “GIRL POWER!” PR focus.

    In reality, a very strong argument can be made that the Kurdish movements in both Syria and Iraq are little more than thieves, attempting to set up parasitic rump states that exist off of infrastructure stolen from their host countries. In Syria (oh, I’m sorry, ‘Rojava’) they’re essentially a cult subservient to Abdullah Ocalan, and in Iraq they are unambiguously a criminal syndicate, run by a giant mafia family in the form of the Barzani clan. I know a guy who spent more than a year in Iraqi Kurdistan, teaching English at a ‘university’. He quickly discovered that the university was a hollow scam, basically a diploma mill (he eventually gave up and left when they refused to pay him all of what was promised). But what little passed for academic rigor there was thrown out the window completely whenever a member of the Barzani clan showed up in the classroom. It was explicitly understood that those people get whatever they want, and should always be given a passing grade.

    Reply
  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    Its easier to imagine dimming the sun than ending capitalism because the only visible large-scale alternative we have seen to capitalism is gulag socialism. And we know we wouldn’t like that any better, or maybe not even as much.

    But can we still imagine domesticating capitalism? Housebreaking it and potty-training it? Subjecting it to the rule of law and regulation? We diddit before viz. The New Deal. So why not again? Why not try imagining THAT?

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      You forget gulag capitalism, which is what Amazon does. Employees are pushed as hard as possible and then trashed when the bodies are broken. Its unbelievably cruel, not sustainable for employees, by design and intent of Amazon management directed by Bezos. Would you want anyone you care about to be abused like that?

      I wonder why the MSM keeps radio silence about this and then, bingo, there is a fatuous prime time Amazon commercial. The MSM silence is bought.

      Since Amazon sets the worst standards possible for employees, all other must follow or be left behind.

      A bright sign would a punch in Bezos’ face in the form of a positive union certification vote by the employees in Alabama.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Gulag capitalism is a good evocative name for what we have today. Its owners and practitioners escaped from rule of law and reversed their own housebreaking and re-feralized themselves and their business practice.

        So imagine re-housebreaking it, re-domesticating it, and re-submitting it to a New Deal Restoration rule of law. Ordered Capitalism under Law.

        Reply
    2. occasional anonymous

      You can’t housebreak a monster. Do a New New Deal and we’ll be right back here again in a century (assuming we avoid a climate apocalypse, which SPOILERS: we won’t). You can’t control capitalism, you can only eradicate it.

      At some point the human race has to grow up.

      Reply
  20. Zagonostra

    Hubris is the answer to the why solutions based on solidarity with others, both human and non-human, will unlikely ever lead to rethinking what can be ‘imagined’

    People can actually read that article and be beguiled by a false faith to technology. Capitalism under the guise of the free market and the false god of science are the only path that our dubious leaders have fidelity to.

    Reminded myself of one of John Steinbeck’’s most profound books, ‘in Doubious Battle’ the was title taken from Milton’s Paradise Lost’

    Reply
  21. tegnost

    Google being really annoying here. I asked “what is the highest tide in the suez canal?” and didn’t get the answer til page 7.
    Turns out we’re pretty close today, but tues wed. looks even better

    “The height of tide in Port Tewfik co-oscillates with the tides of the red
    Sea with extreme tidal range of about 2.25 meters at Spring tides.”

    https://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/FlipPDFFiles/RulesOfNavigation/files/basic-html/page153.html

    what might be concerning is the corresponding low tides.
    https://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/7892.html

    Reply
    1. Zagonostra

      Beautiful outside mass today in Florida with a reading of the Passion. The mass was in Creole which I don’t understand but still very moving. The music was mix of Caribbean and traditional and the priest gave a fiery passionate sermon.

      I was glad the Pope did not celebrate the mass alone this year though the audience was small and sat apart. I’m thankful he was not wearing a mask though the congregation was.

      Thanks for hymn link, happy Passover.

      Reply
  22. lobelia

    Re: America’s first 3D-printed neighborhood is ‘the future of housing’ The Hill. $595,000 a pop? Really?

    The world’s first community of 3D-printed zero net energy homes is set to be built in the desert of California’s Coachella Valley.

    No mention of the vast poverty and lack of medical access about forty miles or less away in Eastern Coachella Valley; which may (STILL) have the highest poverty rate in California. Per Wiki (at least currently, can never trust Jimmy Whales, et al, but couldn’t find another link), that may well be where Gavin Newsom’s ‘AI’ most embraces (remotely, very, very remotely) those crossing the border under the illusion that life will be much better for illegal™ immigrants (despite already outrageous numbers of unsheltered homeless citizens):

    The Eastern Coachella Valley is an area whose population is increasing fast due to its location. Its location is of great importance because it is located near the Californian and Mexican Border, in which most immigrants tend to settle in search for year-round or seasonal work.

    Further, it sounds like another Salton Sea (Man Made from the Colorado River, and also located in Coachella Valley) Housing Hosing Scam: 01/13/20 By Lindsay Fendt As the Salton Sea shrinks, it leaves behind a toxic reminder of the cost of making a desert bloom

    Many of the people and businesses that once relied on the lake have left, driven away by the smell of dying fish or the fear of health problems. Those who remain — farmworkers, families, the elderly — are generally too poor to afford the rising cost of property elsewhere in the valley. Others, like Southworth, who’s retired, have too many fond memories of the lake to give up on its future.

    https://thefern.org/2020/01/as-the-salton-sea-shrinks-it-leaves-behind-a-toxic-reminder-of-the-cost-of-making-a-desert-bloom/

    If the developer goes out of business (which is not at all uncommon in The Golden State™ of grift), as residents begin to realize the countless problems related to that insufficiently tested 3D printing Home, tough luck (though it’s pretty hard to feel sorry in this circumstance).

    Last, but not least: thanks ambrit, above at March 28, 2021 at 12:26 PM, for this, which can’t be noted enough:

    There is something inherently wrong with a “business model” that freezes out the majority of the population from having a home to live in that they can afford to own and maintain.
    Let the smart people here refute me if I err, but, renting is essentially subsidized home ownership for the rentier class. Thus, establishing the half a million dollar mark as the ‘baseline’ for single family building costs, sets the system up to create massive inequality on all fronts.
    As commenters here have attested recently, homelessness is already on the rise. If not addressed in a structural manner, it will soon be a major social stressor in America. America no longer has the option of “going back to the farm” during hard times to rely on

    gotta run

    Reply
    1. juno mas

      Well, the article was about 3-D printing at scale, not the Coachella Valley itself.. The price point of those homes may sound high, but they are HALF of what homes built in 1960 sell for today, in my community. The reason for the homeless crisis in CA is this ridiculous cost/lack of affordable homes.(It is hard to estimate the population of California if housing was affordable.)

      As a youthful water skier on the Salton Sea in the 50’s and 60’s, I can confirm the extraordinary plight of those living near the Sea today. The area is such an environmental disaster that only the very poor live near it anymore. Housing/rental prices follow demand.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Check out the flood map of the Coachella Valley and surrounding environs when sea level rise is factored in. At just 4 metres rise, the entire place becomes a bay.
        See:https://www.floodmap.net/
        We’ll be water skiing there again!

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          ‘Conchilla’ was the original name of the area as there were tons of little shells in the area from a lake that dried up 3,000 years ago, and thanks to a printing mistake eons ago was spelled ‘Coachella’ and the name stuck.

          It’s 68 feet under sea level, which could be problematic.

          It’s thought that the bottom of the Salton Sea might be even lower than Badwater in Death Valley, close to 300 feet below sea level!

          Reply
    2. ambrit

      Back atcha.
      We see a lot of homeless around here now. I really can’t say whether this is a factor of a newly emergent sensitivity to the problem or an actual increase in the numbers of homeless. [As the recent political scene has shown, “Public Relations” is as good as actual policy now.]
      As ‘contemporary’ social science shows, “public housing” too often degenerates into ‘brownfields’ filled with crime and despondency. It can be argued that this is not the result of the ‘kettling’ of the deplorables so much as a side effect of the loss of an individual’s hope for personal and family advancement in the surrounding society.
      One thing that individual home ownership generally does is to give that individual a “hostage to fortune.” Society can generally count on that individual conforming and co-operating with the society. Basically, homeowners have “something to lose.” They make good “Citizens.”
      Oh well. Rant over. Time to self medicate.

      Reply
  23. Wukchumni

    I concentrated on the stuck ship in the Suez Canal and @ 11:11 am using merely brain waves was able to bend the ship into what now approximates a pretzel and unfortunately about 4,374 20 foot containers fell off making a horrible ruckus in BFE, although I really can’t take all the credit, there must’ve been others doing the same thing.

    Reply
  24. Maritimer

    Japan to give people a choice on which vaccine to receive Japan Times
    *****
    Thanks Japan for making sense unlike the One-Size-Fits-All Mass Vaccinators. However, I do not want to play Vaccine Roulette. I don’t like the odds on any of these ponies.

    Reply
  25. Heidi's walker

    https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/study-us-medias-covid-coverage-slants
    “Dartmouth College and Brown University researchers have analyzed tens of thousands of Covid-19 articles and found major U.S. media outlets have overwhelmingly pushed negative narratives about the virus.

    “The most striking fact is that 87 percent of the U.S. stories are classified as negative, whereas 51 percent of the non-U.S. stories are classified as negative,” according to the study by Dartmouth economics professor Bruce Sacerdote, Dartmouth’s Ranjan Sehgal and Brown University’s Molly Cook. “

    Reply
  26. kareninca

    Yesterday I volunteered at a fundraiser that we’ve kept going through most of the pandemic. One of the customers was a lady in her 60s. I started talking with her about vaccination. I expected her to say what most people I’ve met who are her age say – that she was thrilled to have been vaccinated, or that she was eager to be vaccinated. But she did not. She said that she was reluctant, due to concerns about ADE, autoimmune risks, the fact that vaccines normally are tested for many years to establish safety, and that pharmaceutical science is now a giant and exceedingly lucrative business.

    She said that she had stayed healthy without medications so far, and hoped to continue that way, at least until she had more information from a source that she really trusted. But she said that she was not sure what source that would be, since she had seen so much misinformation in the news.

    All of this was especially surprising since she does not have a computer, and doesn’t even use email, and so is not reading anything online. But then she told me that her father had worked for Merck for 50 years.

    Yesterday I talked with a relative in Indiana; she is 61 years old and has many illnesses. She had just finished getting vaccinated. So she was exceedingly annoyed when her doctor told her that she (the doctor) expected the vaccine to protect her for only about three months. I just heard the same claim from a nurse here in Silicon Valley. She is in her late 20s; she didn’t want to be vaccinated but had felt compelled to by her employer and she needed her job. She told me that she expected her vaccination to be effective for about three months. I am not sure what these two people were basing this expectation on. If this becomes a common expectation then more people will put this off, to wait and see if it is really something they want to do.

    Reply
  27. occasional anonymous

    >The Chinese Logistical Sublime and Its Wasted Remains The Disorder of Things.

    “We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
    Or of an ocean not littered with wastage”
    – T. S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages”

    The ocean is in grave danger. But if we all work together, I’m sure we can ensure a future where our descendants will always have a place to dump their used tires.

    Reply
  28. allan

    Amazon started a Twitter war because Jeff Bezos was pissed [Vox]

    Amazon has long been at odds with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren over their criticisms of the company’s labor and business practices. But the discord reached a new height last week when Amazon aggressively went after both on Twitter in an unusual attack for a large corporation. With each new snarky tweet from an Amazon executive or the company’s official Twitter account, insiders and observers alike asked a version of the same question: “What the hell is going on?”

    Turns out that Amazon leaders were following a broad mandate from the very top of the company: Fight back.

    Recode has learned that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed dissatisfaction in recent weeks that company officials weren’t more aggressive in how they pushed back against criticisms of the company that he and other leaders deem inaccurate or misleading. What followed was a series of snarky and aggressive tweets that ended up fueling their own media cycles. …

    How long before Jay Carney is resigned to spending more time with his family?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It really is time for digital photoshop wizards to figure out how to morph together the faces of Jeff Bezos and Doctor Evil. Or even just put the head of Bezos onto Doctor Evil’s body. Something. Anything.

      Reply
  29. a fax machine

    Q doesn’t work in Japan because Q is an invention of 4chan, which itself is a copy of Japan’s 2chan. So for a Japanese alt-web user, Q is just some crazy zoomers trying to find reasons to rationalize Trump’s perceived invulnerability with his very vulnerable reality. As Trump was never such a huge meme over there, because Japanese users never believed in Trump as anything other than a con man, Q does nothing for them. A similar split can be seen within 4chan between those who use it’s /pol/ subboard and those that don’t. Even on /pol/, there is a large (and increasingly upset) contingent of non-Trump rightwingers who are upset at the Q believer infestation.

    Such problems are more readily observable in 8chan’s current form. Briefly: Trump supporters gradually consumed it’s /pol/ board, going so far to infiltrate moderator positions and ban all criticism of Trump. This came to ahead after the Tarrant shooting, where, due to the existential danger to the site, most non-Trump discussion was effectively banned. As a direct result, 9 out of 10 posts on 8chan are now Q-related. To most 4chan users all this Q obsession is as absurd as 2chan users seeing Q in the first place.

    It also speaks to how memes and ideas evolve: Q, which began as a way to rationalize Trump’s bumpstock ban, evolved into a whole theory and multiple doctrines whose users now debate. I don’t know the future of Q, but there’s been volumes written on it and the amount of writing has grown exponentially since the “stolen” election in November.

    Reply
  30. Jason Boxman

    So for what it’s worth, in my vaccination registration packet, the CDC v-safe program is discussed:

    V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly
    tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.

    Your participation in CDC’s v-safe makes a difference — it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe.

    Naturally, it requires a smart phone to work.

    It is interesting to see that CDC is attempting to track vaccination outcomes over a period of a year, though:

    During the first week after you get your vaccine, v-safe will send you a text message each day to ask how you are doing. Then you will get check-in messages once a week for up to 5 weeks. The questions v-safe asks should take less than 5 minutes to answer. If you need a second dose of vaccine, v-safe will provide a new 6-week check-in process so you can share your second-dose vaccine experience as well. You’ll also receive check-ins 3, 6, and 12 months after your final dose of vaccine.

    I’m also informed elsewhere in the document that I can voluntarily report side effects to Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), with a telephone number and web site provided. A number and web site for Pfizer is also included for reporting side effects.

    The document also states multiple times that this vaccine is available under an EUA only and is most definitely not an approved vaccine otherwise.

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

    Reply
  31. Mickey Hickey

    Mutti Merkel is back and she is vexed and depressed. After backing off a proposed restful 5 day Easter holiday, she actually apologised. She has rock solid support and her supporters are angry that she apologised. Now that she knows she has support she is telling the country that a nationwide lockdown is becoming an absolute necessity. She is correct, it must be done before health facilities are over run.

    Reply
  32. Jon Cloke

    I’ve invented a new name for this kind of activity – Panicscience. So, a humanity that has only just begun to discover the vast, unending complexities of global warming, having covered them up with the active assistance of large corporations for some 50 years, is now going to just ‘dim the sun’ so that life can carry on regardless?

    Because after all, dimming the sun is just so much easier than dealing with the real culprit, which is accelerating mass consumption, isn’t it? And when the hideous consequences of mass consumption really start to bite, chucking a ton of money at Sun-Dimming and Carbon Markets won’t solve anything, but at least it will make the corporate elite happy…

    If, as we all now know to be the case, our response to global warming has been to simply tut and look in the opposite direction and if, as we also know to be the case, the same global corporate elites that are causing the problem are peddling climate change denial propaganda as fast as they can go, apparently we now suddenly have the technology and the capacity to ignore all that and begin on vast geoengineering projects that ignore our destructive waste and propose planetary moves in the opposite direction when we have absolutely *no* idea of the consequences… what could possibly go wrong?

    And please explain to me: how would a planet-size sun-dimming project run by the same profit-driven white western elites who gave us global warming in the first place “move forward in a socially responsible manner”?

    “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad”.

    Reply

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