Links 4/10/2021

Insatiable Shipping Companies Set the Table for the Suez Canal Ship Debacle Labor Notes

Crude Greeks decide it’s time to go very large Lloyd’s List

Credit Suisse Scandal Toll Goes Ever Higher as Rivals Thrive Bloomberg

‘This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy FT

Stabilising the economic outlook Philip R. Lane, European Central Bank

Redefining insurance supervision for the new normal Bank of International Settlements

Managing Divergent Recoveries IMF

Assets Have Tanked at Two of the World’s Biggest Short Sellers Institutional Investor

The Nope theory to explain volatility in equity markets FT. Net Options Pricing Effect.


Ethical, Legal, and Scientific Challenges for COVID-19 Vaccine Passports Bill of Heath, Harvard Law

Antibody evasion by the P.1 strain of SARS-CoV-2 Cell. From the Abstract: “[N]ew strains have emerged with multiple mutations: P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa and B.1.1.7 from the UK…. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine induced antibody responses than B.1.351.” The article seems to reach no conclusion on B.1.1.7 one way or the other.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine under scrutiny at EMA after 4 ‘serious cases’ of unusual blood clots Fierce Biotech

Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments CDC (MNA). Trashing aerosols* (despite) and fomites:

Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low**, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection… People can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 through contact with surfaces. However, based on available epidemiological data and studies of environmental transmission factors, surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads, and the risk is considered to be low. The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk.

Go long plexiglass, I suppose. NOTES * To be fair, we get confused and faction-straddling language like “aerosol droplets.” Since droplets are ballistic (falling within a radius under gravity) and aerosols float (like cigarette smoke, filling a space), this entire “science brief” is deeply confused at the ontological level; saying “aerosol droplets” is like saying “rocky smoke”; it’s an oxymoron, confused at the ontological level. When is Walensky going to get a handle on this? ** Now that we know that the virus persists in excrement, there is a case to be made for fomite transmission via that path. I don’t think the case has been made yet, and the case for aerosol transmission from excrement has been made.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the World Trade Network Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Is airborne transmission an important and mitigatable aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic? – A panel discussion O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary (recording). Important. Speakers: Dr. John Conly (WHO), Dr. David N. Fisman (epidemiologist, University of Toronto) Dr. Kim Prather (Atmospheric Chemist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Live twitter thread:

(A corollary of airborne transmission is that HCWs (health care workers) should be supplied with N95, not surgical, masks.) I don’t think WHO sent their best:

Acne? Really? That’s one of the hold-ups?

B.C. shatters records with 1,293 new COVID-19 cases, pushing average over 1,000 per day Global News

COVID-19 lockdowns around the world as vaccine efforts stumble Channel News Asia


Manila confronts Beijing’s ‘utter disregard’ for law in South China Sea FT

Alibaba antitrust investigation: Beijing slaps e-commerce giant with record US$2.8 billion fine in landmark case South China Morning Post. China’s Amazon. Who’s got the rule of law and who doesn’t?

Pro-democracy pair to quit Hong Kong district council seats over new allegiance oath Hong Kong Free Press

Path to $4.1 Trillion Puts Australia Pensions Among World Giants Bloomberg


The Dangerous Impasse in Myanmar Foreign Affairs. There’s a history here:

Myanmar ‘State Collapse’ Imminent: ‘The Bloodbath Is Real,’ Expert Warns Sourcing Journal. I’m including this because the source is for supply chain professionals. Myanmar er, resistance isn’t sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy or something (now that the tankies have gotten themselves involved. To be clear, I think US RSP intervention would be madness; we’e botch the job).

My unusual week with Myanmar’s violent, paranoid military junta Globe_. “Surreal, controversial and heavily-choreographed.”

Ethiopia’s ethnofederalism: fact and fiction Ethiopia Report


Northern Irish loyalists demand Brexit changes, call for end to street violence Reuters. An alternative view. Thread:

The real story behind Prince Philip’s infamous ‘slitty-eyed’ remark during 1986 China visit South China Morning Post

Health authorities modify national vaccination schedule Mexico News Daily. For “modify,” read “delay.”

New Cold War

War Clouds Over Russia And Ukraine? Ask Brussels The American Conservative

Is Russia Preparing to Go to War in Ukraine? Foreign Policy

Ukraine: A Short History of Meddling Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

What do Russians really think of Putin and Navalny? Al Jazeera

Biden Adminsistration

The Origins of a Distinguished Diplomatic Career and the U.S.-China Fight for Primacy—BPR Interviews: Chas Freeman Brown Political Review. Recommended by Yasha Levine, in a post also worth reading.

Defying Beijing, US loosens restrictions on Taiwan contacts Agence France Presse

Biden’s tax plan is about tackling the class warfare of the US elite Tax Research UK. Big if true.

Sanders expresses ‘serious concerns’ with Biden’s defense increase The Hill

It is the argument consuming Washington. Politico. What is “infrastrucure”?

Republican Funhouse

Five things to watch for at the GOP’s donor retreat The Hill

Gaetz Targeted by House Ethics Panel Amid Sex-Trafficking Probe Bloomberg

Democrats en Deshabille

The Daleys of Chicago Need Accountability in Ongoing Loan Scandal Counterpunch

Our Famously Free Press

Support the Tropes FAIR

How an online ‘Lego’ gamer infiltrated the White House press corps Politico (dk). Good. More like this, please.

How fact checkers and are fighting misinformation Google

Google Blocks Advertisers from Targeting Black Lives Matter YouTube Videos The Markup

Health Care

Google is exploring a health record tool for patients STAT

Police State Watch

Military Equipment Transfers to Police Have Picked Back Up Brick House

A Far-Right Extremist Allegedly Plotted to Blow Up Amazon Data Centers Wired. Granted, the FBI sold him the explosives.


Boeing production issue prompts airlines to pull some 737 MAX jets from service Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

Crisis of Command Foreign Affairs. One reason the United States is not agreement-capable, as for example withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1.

EXCLUSIVE: She exposed decades of alleged sexual abuse at elite Bay Area high schools. Now, she’s speaking out San Francisco Chronicle

Class Warfare

Union members reject agreement, strike to continue at Warrior Met Coal Tuscaloosa News

Amazon has won a historic warehouse union election. But the battle is not over. Recode

Flawed Approach Sunk Amazon Union Drive, But Birthed National Movement Payday Report. Ugh. A “national movement” like BLM or #MeToo?

The enormous impact of eroded collective bargaining on wages Economic Policy Institute

Boston’s hospital chiefs moonlight on corporate boards at rates far beyond the national level Boston Globe

Prolonged Isolation Can Lead to the Creation of New Accents Atlas Obscura. As for example in The Big Sort?

The rice of the sea: how a tiny grain could change the way humanity eats Guardian

The Vast Viral World: What We Know (and Don’t Know) Nautilus

Did climate change cause societies to collapse? New research upends the old story. Grist

Globalization Lewis Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly (noonespecial).

There’s Now a Tiny Washing Machine to Clean Your Wax-Encrusted Earbuds Gizmodo

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote (you may wish to turn the sound down):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. IM Doc

      Rolling Stone has now entered my irrelevant stack. I will not be renewing my subscription.

  1. Mme Generalist

    Good morning! Can we get a link for today’s antidote? The one there is for yesterday’s. Thank you!

      1. ambrit

        I take it to be a chance exposure of a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking.
        “Oh Gracie! Gracie, where are you?”

  2. Follow the Money

    Alibaba fine and rule of law.

    It seeems as if they have learnt wristslapping from EU. 2.8 bn in fine from 19 bn net profit for 2020 only. Pocket change and well within the P/L and risks of abusing the market for profit.

  3. Bill Smith

    “How an online ‘Lego’ gamer infiltrated the White House press corps ”

    “Recently the White House has had read outs of calls and has the name of the people saying ‘Senior Administration official’ so why isn’t the White House releasing the names of people in the calls, making these comments so that they can be held accountable to the American people?”

    That is a question the “real’ press should have asked. Another little bit of the reason why the “real’ press is not trusted.

  4. timbers

    War Clouds Over Russia And Ukraine? Ask Brussels The American Conservative

    “The battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east has cost some 14,000 lives. Moscow bears the bulk of the blame for the civil war/invasion, but allied missteps contributed.”

    Oh? Moscow is to blame for our toppling the legitimate govt of Ukraine and installing hyper corrupt neo-nazis openly seeking to wipe Russians off the face of their earth?

    The American Conservative was on a roll. The handful of articles I read over past months seemed almost spotless up until now. Still a good resource, though.

    1. petal

      TAC is a mixed bag-some articles are good, and some are like “huh?”. Useful for critical thinking practice. I check it each day-as you said, still a good resource.

    2. km

      It’s Russia’s fault, for not lining up meekly for the has chambers. Now look what you made us do!

      1. Procopius

        “Stand and deliver! Give me your money or I will shoot, and then you will be a murderer.”

    3. pjay

      That paragraph threw me, too. Here is the rest of it:

      “Moscow bears the bulk of the blame for the civil war/invasion, but allied missteps contributed. Expanding NATO, dismantling Serbia, supporting color revolutions in Tbilisi and Kiev, and encouraging the ouster of the elected pro-Russian president of Ukraine gave Moscow plenty of reason to be suspicious, feel threatened, and respond brutally.”

      I was genuinely puzzled by what the author meant by “respond brutally,” especially given the rest of that sentence. Was it the “annexation” of Crimea (which was done by referendum and cost *no* lives, as the author notes)? Was it Putin’s *refusal* to invade Eastern Ukraine (though granted he has provided support of various kinds)? Even more puzzling was that the rest of the long piece seemed unobjectionable, from my point of view.

      1. Bill Smith

        “which was done by referendum and cost *no* lives”

        On 27 February, masked Russian troops without insignia[7] took over the Supreme Council (parliament) of Crimea[45][46] and captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian Aksyonov government in Crimea, the conducting of the Crimean status referendum and the declaration of Crimea’s independence on 16 March 2014

        I’m sure the referendum was not influenced by the little green men.

        And there where a few people who got killed.

        1. Yves Smith

          John Helmer has seen fit to correct US/Western misrepresentation of the legal issues at play, and in particular, that the presence of the Russian soldiers at issue were permitted under existing treaties. From Helmer via e-mail:

          The military chain started with the January 21 USN operations in the Black Sea:

          The Putin-Obama telcon followed on February 21: In retrospect, you need to focus on what was said then, and what then followed politically and militarily.

          As reported then, and leaving aside everything we have subsequently learned about the staging of the Maidan events, including the killings, the Ukrainian Constitution ceased to operate with the putsch removing Yanukovich. The constitutional protection and autonomous status of Crimea in the Ukrainian constitition ceased over the next three days. There being no such thing as a legal vacuum, the Crimean parliament acted autonomously and the Russian forces legally in Crimea acted lawfully to protect that parliament upon its request. The Russia-Ukraine treaty regulating the forces and legal control of the bases in Crimea allowed a far greater number of Russian forces than were on the peninsula at the time; reinforcement of those numbers was also permitted under the treaty; they were not “invaders” nor did they “capture” areas they were lawfully allowed to secure under the treaty and under the authority of the Crimean parliament.

          You can’t have legality and constitutionality on the US side, and dismiss it on the Russian, also the Ukrainian side; primitive propganadists like Weaver couldn’t understand that then, or since. Putin explained it to Obama in their telcon. Legally and constitutionally, then, the putsch in Kiev — arranged by US troops without insignia — caused the autonomy of Crimea under the Ukrainian constitution to become the popular mandate for secession bringing Crimea under the Russian Constitution.

          As for constitutionality on the Kiev side, the Crimean side, and the Russian side, here’s how the sequence went at the Constitutional Court in Kiev, according to the court sources: Dances With Bears » LEGAL VACUUM AT THE UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT — HOW FIVE JUDGES WERE DISMISSED, FOUR JUDGES APPOINTED, AND THE REST OF THE BENCH THREATENED WITH CRIMINAL INDICTMENT 36 HOURS BEFORE THE CRIMEAN REFERENDUM (

    4. Randy G

      Timbers — Great points.

      The U.S backs a putsch led by fascist militias (ironically, Yanukovych had agreed to early elections that he was likely to lose) and then are outraged that regions of the corrupt and dysfunctional country — the Donbas and Crimea — that voted for the deposed President are galvanized to secede. These are areas that are linguistically and culturally Russian.

      For the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis the hated Russians (the Moskals) are what the Jews were for the German Nazis — an enemy vermin that threatens ‘their sacred Nation’. How do you live in a country where you are considered vermin for speaking Russian, your normal language, and for not swearing allegiance to fascists who detest you? Once the bloodletting begins, you might be tempted to bolt for the exits.

      Incidentally, when I was visiting Ukraine in 2009, including Lugansk and Donetsk, the main cities in the Donbas that declared themselves ‘Republics’ after the Maidan putsch, I had ‘political’ discussions with some Ukrainians (mostly in their 30s) that I met in Kiev.

      Alexey, who had a history degree, told me that ‘my government’ (USA) was funding and training fascists in Ukraine, and that those fascists, mainly from Western Ukraine, planned to take power violently. He insisted they were ruthless, they would kill anyone who stood in their way, and there would be a civil war in Ukraine very soon. (One person — Alexey’s mom! — spoke perfect English as she been a university professor in English lit during the Soviet Union; she helped with translations as needed.)

      Essentially, I thought Alexey was being melodramatic. Although I don’t consider myself naive when it comes to the malevolence of U.S. ‘foreign policy’, I told Alexey and the other Ukrainians that it seemed unlikely the U.S. would promote fascism and a civil war in Ukraine. After all, the U.S. had won the Cold War, Ukraine and Russia were no longer communist, they were weakened and disorganized countries — especially Ukraine — and what would be the point of destabilizing them any further?

      Alexey was clearly annoyed and told me, politely, that I was clueless and had no idea what my government was up to in Ukraine, or how dangerous the situation truly was. He told me that the Ukrainian fascists, if they came to power, would view him as a traitor, deserving of death.

      In the years after that discussion, I continued to think of Alexey’s views as melodramatic and maybe even paranoid.

      Until February 2014. When everything he had described and anticipated in 2009 came true. Alexey was marked as a ‘traitor’ and he has fled to Krasnodar, Russia with his wife and son. His elderly parents remain in Kiev, but he cannot visit them since he is considered an enemy by the ’new’ U.S. and EU backed ‘democratic’ miracle.

      By they way, I did apologize to Alexey for my naive cluelessness regarding the activities of ‘my government’ — AKA the criminal regime on the Potomac.

      1. km

        I lived eight years in Ukraine, much of it working for Ukrainian companies, in a Russian language environment I speak Russia and Ukrainian, although I have not a drop of Slavic blood in me, AFAIK. I am not related, by blood or marriage, to a Russian or Ukrainian.

        Believe me when I say that the “Russian propaganda” about Ukraine is pretty much entirely true.

        1. The Rev Kev

          After the Soviet regime fell, the Russians learned two things they said. The first was that everything the old government said about their own system were lies. The second thing was that unfortunately everything they said about the west was true.

          1. viscaelpaviscaelvi

            There was also the probably older joke (it sort of says the same but implying only direct knowledge of communism) that, according to communist propaganda, capitalism is a dog-eats-dog society, whereas communism is the other way around.

      2. pjay

        Thanks for this comment. No matter how informed we believe ourselves to be, those of us born and raised in the US truly have a difficult time fully grasping the dark side of US foreign policy.

        When I was a young graduate student in the 1980s I made a number of Latin American friends who had direct contacts with both the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the resistance in El Salvador. Though I thought I was a knowledgeable “lefty,” I received a similar schooling from them on my naivete. To be sure, there were some “moderates” among the privileged in both countries who opposed socialist reforms because they truly believed that “democracy” meant capitalism. Then, as now, these were the groups emphasized by our politicians and mainstream media. But covertly, the US was actually supporting the most vicious and sadistic fascists – trained, armed, and financed them. My friends received regular reports on atrocities by the Contras and Salvadoran death squads. Many years later, I had a colleague who was an expert on Operation Condor. He was from a South American country and had been a Condor torture victim. More education for me.

        Most Americans have absolutely no idea. We aren’t informed, and most of us don’t want to know anyway.

        1. Alfred

          You are correct. In 2003, after being laid off, I worked for an accounting temp firm. They sent me to a “shipping company.” It turned out to be a supply chain for the CIA. After one day, and a sleepless night, I bailed via a phone call to the agency and the company manager. They screamed at me, “What is it about this job you can’t do?”
          I dunno, maybe it was all the Ketamine they were buying, (I was Accounts Payable) and the fact that every one in that office was a temp, and they were showing off all these automatic weapons in the office, and the name I was being paid under was not the name of the office I was working in.

          The manager had come to me at the end of the day to ask if I thought I’d be there tomorrow, and I said sure because “Three Days of the Condor” had been playing in my brain all day.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I wonder if that shipping company also served as a CIA recruiting tool. By that I mean that if you were the sort of person that loved this sort of stuff and wanted to be really involved, then your name would be noted as a ‘temp’ with the CIA for other jobs that they might have.

            1. Alfred

              alas, I thought of myself as the sort of person who was going to die because I am not the sort of person that loved this sort of stuff.

            2. Alfred

              alas, I thought of myself as the sort of person who was going to die because I am not the sort of person that loved this sort of stuff.

        2. km

          FWIW, I was born and raised in the United States, child of decidedly non-cosmopolitan parents in a small midwestern town.

      3. upstater

        That $5,000,000,000 that Victoria Nuland bragged about was being spent for something.We saw what it bought in 2014.

        What is amazing that this woman, who is Jewish, actively worked to install neo Nazis into Ukraine.

    5. JP

      Has there ever been a legitimate govt of the Ukraine? Ukraine would seem to be the proxy battle ground for the most politically corrupt aspects of east vs west. Even as in the US where the most moronic choices of issues and candidates are supported by the vast unwashed, you have to ask yourself how do these people rise to positions of leadership. I suppose the corruption of power is due to the power of corruption.

      1. ambrit

        I would not make the mistake of giving ‘agency’ to a concept, such as “corruption.” At bottom, people are corrupt. People make the decisions and carry out the actions that enable corruption to become the predominant feature of a system. Conversely, people are also capable of exhibiting positive and redeeming qualities. Educating the young to value those positive aspects highly is the proper function of education, taken broadly to include familial training.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes

        Joking aside, the key problem with the Kiev rump state is the elections for the Ukraine were coming in up in a few months at the time of the coup. Political power had rotated in previous elections for over 20 years by that time. I can’t really speak for other countries, but the standards fit for the United States, I understand obvious American hypocrisy, meant the pre-coup government was a legitimate government. A problematic election and the specter of a term of a government/administration put into power through a fraudulent election is a different matter. A previous matter resulted in the “Orange Revolution” which was resolved with a do over election.

        light and transient causes

        We aren’t discussing the threat of a 21 year old king. A non-violent way of addressing policies doesn’t one like was available to the coup plotters. The people who seized power weren’t outside the political system. This isn’t like indigenous people rising up against colonial overlords. Poroshenko wasn’t a little oppressed man fighting against the evils of monarchy.

        Not that I think the US should have been involved for obvious reasons, but the elites of Benghazi weren’t entirely off the ball when they moved against an old man Gaddafi due to the ages of the heirs.

      3. km

        To answer your question, no.

        Ukraine is much like what Russia would be, had the nineties never really ended.

    6. The Rev Kev

      A longer comment went to oblivion but the gist was that NATO laws state that a new member cannot be accepted if a) there are foreign troops on their territory and b) they have an ongoing territorial dispute with a neighbour. The Ukraine, like Georgia, fail on both counts.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Sanders expresses ‘serious concerns’ with Biden’s defense increase”

    First comes the finger-wagging. Then comes the angry tweets. If this keeps up, the Progressives may be forced to send Biden another letter, even though it is rumoured that a previous letter from them was found in a White House waste-paper basket unopened.

      1. ambrit

        “Many Winter Soldiers died to protect those rare earths deposits from the depredations of Eastasia!”

        1. Duck1

          Surely the Pentagon will need many billions of dollars and years of meetings in order to come up with the optimal camouflage design for troops to wear in an environment of snow.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            I believe Hunter Biden is an expert on “snow” – perhaps a consulting gig is in order.

          2. Josef K

            You beat me to it. Of course the cost-effective way would be to bleach out all the digicam that was 86’ed when the fad passed.

  6. steve

    Did climate change cause societies to collapse? New research upends the old story. Grist

    After reading the source article for this, “Towards a rigorous understanding of societal responses to climate change” I would answer the question “Did climate change cause societies to collapse?” with: Yes, but don’t forget the lucky ones who ran over the unlucky ones.

    1. km

      And when push comes to shove, when votes are counted and campaigns are fought, watch Sanders (and AOC, and every other member of “the Squad”) fall in line, every single time.

      Because Team D.

      No wonder the DNC holds them in such utter contempt.

      1. Alfred

        I have this strange curiosity about those closed-door talks AOC had with Pelosi early on. I wonder if topics like the honed strategy of foot-dragging, and one day you will be Speaker, or MORE! came up…

  7. Jack White

    An unlisted harm of N95 masks is cost. I was told years ago they were $4 apiece. 3M lists them at over $5 now, less expensive ones are probably crapified.

    1. John k

      10-pack of N95 3M masks on Amazon for 27.
      I have used the same one for 3 months, used about twice/week, bathed on dash with sunlight between uses.

  8. Donald

    On “ aerosol droplets”, I don’t read the epidemiological literature, but long ago I read some papers on both nucleation theory and also the aerosols created by nuclear war, asteroid impacts and large volcanic eruptions and people in those fields used the term “ droplet” to refer to extremely tiny liquid drops. Clouds are aerosols but people talk about “ cloud droplets”. If they grow big enough we have rain. An aerosol is composed of droplets ( or particles if solid) whose terminal velocity is so low that even very low velocity random air currents keep them up. If they are really tiny so that mgh is about equal to kT then Brownian motion will do it.

    Maybe public health people use droplet to refer to larger, um, droplets which fall, but in the physics and meteorological literature a droplet can be part of an aerosol.

    1. Skip Intro

      I think the term ‘droplet’ has become a marker for aerosol transmission denial arguments, but from the context, it sounded like they were using a more general sense in conjunction ‘airborne transmission’ contrasting fomite transmission, as you suggest. If it is written for non-specialists, the language may be more clear that way. The life of aerosol droplets is really dependent on a complex interplay of temperature and humidity, as they can take on moisture and fall out or dry up and float off.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        One difference is that droplets are from coughing, sneezing, sometimes shouting. Aerosols are emitted with all those, plus mere breathing.

        The key difference is that droplet comes with implications for implementation. Because droplets are ballistic (tiny loogies) gravity makes them fall within a given radius. Hence measures like six- or three-foot separation, plexiglass, etc., and also masking.

        Aerosols, emitted by breathing, are also fought with masking (albeit N95 not surgical) and separation, but since like cigarette smoke they fill a room, measures like plexiglass are useless. Further, ventilation becomes critical, as it is not with the droplet paradigm.

        1. marku52

          That was what I got out of the “3 foot VS 6 foot” thing. Hey, if the ventilation is poor, neither one is safe. Both equally hazardous.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Prolonged Isolation Can Lead to the Creation of New Accents”

    ‘Social distancing might not entirely change the way we talk, but a Mars expedition might do the trick.’

    It may not be only accents that will change on Mars but also expressions. Here is an example of a possible conversation to show you what could happen-

    ‘What on Mars do you think that you are doing? And where on Mars have you been?’

    ‘I was looking for a girl and I went to the four corners of Mars and moved heaven and Mars’

    ‘Man, come back to Mars.’

    ‘But I found her. She is the salt of Mars. And last night I felt Mars move.’

    ‘So you found a girl. That’s hardly Mars-shattering. Better to come down to Mars’

  10. Pelham

    Re the not-very-serious DC debate over what constitutes “infrastructure”: The “debate” is immaterial and a distraction. The American Society of Civil Engineers has said for years that we need to spend $4 trillion immediately just to get what has always been defined as infrastructure back to last century’s standards. And by that they mean roads, bridges and power and water systems. That’s it.

    The Biden program allocates about $700 billion for these items over eight years. So at this very late and absolutely pivotal juncture, it’s a trickle. And it’s about as clear a statement as any that our leaders have definitively cast their fortunes elsewhere and certainly not with any remotely realistic attempt to put the country on a competitive and sustainable footing.

    (As far as the silly “debate” goes, sure, you can make an argument that care-giving and the like are a form of infrastructure. But such items would have to be ADDED TO what any sane person in the pre-2021 past would have described as infrastructure.)

    1. Bill Smith

      Not talking their book, are they:

      “American Society of Civil Engineers has said for years that we need to spend $4 trillion”

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Do you think they are making it up?

        Do you have truer information about what we do or don’t need to repair?

        Whose book are you talking?

    2. Glen

      Yes, completely agree. Between that seriously inadequate amount of funding, and the “huge debate” over “raising taxes” to less than where they were when he was VP when everybody knows that the top corporations don’t even pay any taxes, it all becomes a sick joke.

      Nothing will fundamentally change.

    3. Alfred

      Shoot me in the head and throw me in the woods when the time comes. I have worked in “care homes.”

  11. Donald

    The Grist article on climate change and resilience was only relevant to people who think that every massive catastrophe leads to total or near total extinction and to be fair, activists usually use the most dramatic absolute worst case scenarios to make their case. But people already knew that the Mayans had descendants. The point was that the form that their society took was greatly altered. People have survived all sorts of catastrophes— Europe survived the Black Death. If they had known about the role of rats and bacteria they could have prevented it.

    I don’t expect humanity to be wiped out by climate change. The issue is how we mitigate it. Resilience comes in many forms and that’s the point—which of many different paths will minimize the harm. Elon Musk has his own repulsive ideas about resilience, for instance, which involve people who can afford it moving to Mars.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It can also shape the fortunes of empire. I was watching a doco last night about what led Cleopatra to back Mark Antony and a main reason was major shortages of wheat then which forced her hand. At the time, Egypt was a major bread-basket for wheat in the Mediterranean. Well the story came out in ice-samples of a change to the climate due to volcanic particles. When the story was put together, it looks like a major volcano had gone off in central America whose plumes had crossed the Atlantic and effected weather patterns there. And this was about the time that Julius Caesar was assassinated and created a mess of weather and trading patterns. And this was the effect of just one volcano.

      1. Wukchumni

        It took a couple of Icelandic volcanoes in the 1780’s to foment the French Revolution, which was a 1-time climate change gig that resulted in bad harvests & much hunger, ours looks to be a wee bit longer lasting.

        The difference between then and now is of course it’s a heck of a lot easier to flee trouble, when the Anasazi were in the throes of a 50 year drought in Chaco Canyon, Europe was so flush with money that they were in the midst of their third crusade, and anybody in proto-Albuquerque would’ve gladly caught a 787 across the pond to a better situation, albeit about 900 years too soon for jet travel.

        Instead the survivors ended up in Arizona & Mexico mostly.

        They were the lucky ones, as a trail of cannibalism marked the final resting place for many along the way from Chaco Canyon.

        And all they had for weaponry was the crudest implements, ours is a bit more lethal.

    2. aleric

      I could barely stand to finish that dishonest or ignorant article. Sure, these societies broke down because of climate changes leading to demographic collapse and mass migration, but not every single person died and some people found new livelihoods hunting and fishing in the ruins. So, we don’t need to be worried at all about global warming.

  12. crittermom

    RE: “Redefining insurance supervision for the new normal”

    Well, my son is out of work again (he’d found another job pretty quickly after filing for UI last year, but did receive some money on his claim).

    He said his UI benefits are messed up after receiving notice he’d never registered & they may want the money back he DID receive. Huh?

    Problem is, when he tried to file a claim again it said he was already registered so it won’t let him reregister. But the notice says he must, to receive his money & not have to pay back what he did receive. That doesn’t even make sense. If he never registered to begin with (he did, of course), then how did he get paid? Duh?
    (Oops. Forgot. I’m talking about a govt program here, so common sense goes out the window)

    He then sent me this link. Apparently, he’s not alone. The thread goes back a ways (& there are others), & is still ongoing.

    So, even unemployment insurance is messed up. Are they also working from home?

    But I’ve no doubt that “other” (read “for profit”) insurance companies will have no problem adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
    It’ll just take the gubbernut much longer, while citizens are going hungry & losing the roof over their heads.*

    *Fortunately, my son is a saver so they’re not in danger of losing their home or going hungry, but his wife’s income won’t cover all the bills so they’ll be hitting that savings until my son finds another job. The last time he was forced to take a ‘contract’ job (no benefits & lesser pay), which he’s hoping to avoid having to do again. But that’s becoming the ‘new normal’, as well. “Contract labor”. (sure hated to see Amazon win that unionized effort–this time.)

    1. RockHard

      Ah, Colorado UI. Someone filed a claim under my name back last fall and I still get emails about it. I canceled my benefit card with US Bank, and that was pretty seamless, but reporting fraud to the state is pretty opaque. I tried a couple emails and filled out a form, but I’ve never had any acknowledgement that the state understands this. My employer reported the claim as fraudulent too, maybe they got through?

      I have to wonder how this works for the scammers since my employer caught it. Maybe if an employer is small and understaffed, or completely going out of business, they’ll miss the claim and not report it?

  13. PlutoniumKun

    Northern Irish loyalists demand Brexit changes, call for end to street violence Reuters. An alternative view. Thread:

    The rioters seem to be settling in for the long haul. As the twitter tread says, the reasons for the riots aren’t straightforward, but I’m not sure I’d agree with the writer on all her points.

    The spark for the riots appears to have been a crackdown on drug importation by loyalist gangs – ironically, the new Irish Sea border seems to have helped the police with this. But there is no question but the DUP and other loyalists have been stoking up the heat for some time – they see riots like this as helpful as they realise that they’ve been sold down the river by Johnson and have almost no leverage. Police in NI have been warning for many months that they’ve seen a lot of rising anger on loyalist social media, so there is no surprise that it didn’t take much to get teenagers out on the streets. What is a little surprising is their main target is the police, normally they prefer to take their frustrations out on unarmed catholics.

    So far, London is dealing with it in the best way they know – by ignoring it, and the UK media is helping out with this. This may not be the worst strategy going, as the Loyalist groups probably don’t have the capacity to ramp things up to a level where they can’t be ignored, so all they’ll do is destroy their own communities. Sinn Fein will be very happy to sit by, watching them self immolate, they have no incentive to ratchet things up further.

    One key background to all this is the complete failure of mainstream Unionism (Loyalism being essentially a cultural branch of the broader Unionist political movement). The old UUP, once the dominant party in NI, is now pretty much defunct, and has been replaced with a clueless DUP and a handwringing ‘moderate’ Alliance Party, the latter of which is made up of people who love earnest discussions at dinner parties. Without any genuine heavyweights around to argue their case, they are rudderless, and in these circumstances pretty much anything can happen. Essentially, ‘unionism’ as a political belief system, has collapsed in the face of the rather obvious fact that you can’t have a Union with someone who doesn’t like you and doesn’t want you.

    Meanwhile, in England the ultra Brexiters are wandering around pretending that its nothing to do with them, and everything bad is the EU’s fault. Funny how they left the EU to avoid EU interfering, but now they are out, all their bad decisions are still due to… EU interfering.

    1. chuck roast

      Yes, the Loyalists appear well under the bus…with no one to be loyal to. But, it’s going to take a very long time to jettison 400 years of history. The English couldn’t care less about these people and their presence in the UK Parliament is an afterthought, their very recent king-making position notwithstanding. There best bet is in the Dail where they can surely find a multitude of reactionaries to coalesce with. Although they will probably first attempt to do some sort of SNP thing. Unfortunately, the Catholics won the breeding war. So, the path of proto-democracy will certainly be a dead-end. There will be no Apprentice Boys in the next round.

      1. LifelongLib

        Call me Clueless American on this one. If (say) Northern Ireland merged with the rest of Ireland, would the Protestants living there suddenly become second-class citizens? Have trouble getting jobs etc.? Do they have real reasons to be afraid, or is it all a history/pride thing?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Its just a history/pride thing. The protestant minority were fine for the history of the Republic up to the 21st century, and since then immigration and the collapse of the catholics church influence has meant that they are not in any way a ‘minority’, oppressed or not.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Scotland and Wales were to try secceding from the UK, would they succeed? And if they did, would the EU let the join the EU if they applied to join?

  14. rowlf

    The BPR interview with Chas Freeman was a great start of my day. I liked this part a lot as I don’t hold experts in high regard due to past experiences, plus I prefer inclusive interactions over divisive:

    CF: Law school is not irrelevant, but it isn’t as interesting as dealing on behalf of the United States with foreign governments and cultures. The French have a phrase, “déformation professionnelle,” which means that you take on the mindset and reasoning skills of a particular profession and you become narrow-minded because you don’t see the whole picture. The first year of law school is a sort of ideological bootcamp in which you are taught to reason in terms of rights, duties, privileges, and immunities, and various other categories relevant to legal reasoning. That training is all very injurious to diplomacy because if you approach an international relationship in terms of who’s right and who’s wrong, you’re wasting your time. There is no superior authority, no court system, and no legal system to sort out many diplomatic questions. If you insist that the other party’s wrong, the other party may decide to go to war with you.

    I also liked Freeman’s observations on the use of the Uighur situation in the media.

    1. Jason

      Freeman’s somewhat reasonable voice on foreign policy and diplomacy likely would have led to better outcomes were he to have been appointed chair of the NIC under Obama. The Israel Lobby killed any chances of that, as they are wont to do.

      1. The Rev Kev

        What a waste. I could see a great negotiating session between Freeman and Lavrov but unfortunately only ideologues and power-trippers are selected for high diplomatic offices for years now. I thought that the bar got pretty low with Pompeo but now you have Blinken.

      2. rowlf

        If I remember correctly, the US’s other closest bestest friends the Saudis barked too as Freeman wasn’t someone to sell the US’s assets. Freeman was also of the generation that considered the neocons as the “crazies in the basement” and probably gave them the respect they deserved.

        I would pay bucks to watch a Lavrov and Freeman Valdai Club session.

      3. rowlf

        I forgot to mention that Freeman could have saved us from four years of Russiagate brainworms from spying on US nationals.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    Stabilising the economic outlook Philip R. Lane, European Central Bank

    Pretty coded stuff, but Lane is an good manager – he was to a large degree responsible for stabilising policy in Ireland after the Celtic Tiger crash and he was impressively strong at standing up to government pressure to loosen up regulations on the banks.

    If I’m reading it right, he essentially seems to be arguing that the ECB and monetary policy in general can’t fix the post Covid problems of Europe, only fiscal policies can do this, but the ECB will do all it can to support this. By ECB standards, this is pretty radical stuff, and I can only imagine the horror of the ordoliberals that infest Berlin and Brussels at the very thought. We can only hope that this represents a real change in policy – Europe is lagging badly in fiscal policies and urgently needs to get its act together.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I am quite ignorant of European affairs. As a USian, a couple of segments from Lane’s discussion jumped out at me:

      “… the implications of the pandemic for the future of various sectors.

      In particular, the future balance between the office and the home as a workplace, as well as the option to work remotely from any corner of the world, has widespread implications for many sectors.“

      I believe there are indeed widespread implications for many sectors. I wonder how many of the newly minted USian remote workers will be replaced by workers working remotely from other corners of the world.

      Another segment caught my eye for how strangely it echoes elements of USian policy expressed in various lyrical passages describing the Green New Deal and the nascent Biden plan:

      “Next Generation EU (NGEU) initiative has a critical role to play. In particular, a multi-year programme of elevated and targeted public investment provides an important growth engine for the post-pandemic economy, which is further amplified by the commitment to carry out growth-enhancing reforms. Moreover, the coordinated focus on green investment and digitalisation has the potential to generate additional productivity gains on a cross-European basis in view of the shared benefits of an orderly carbon transition and the positive network externalities from enhanced digital capacity across all Member States.

  16. s.n.

    word salad they call it? the first third of AOC’s remarkable bs


    You know, earlier, just now, you and I were talking about the “what” and the “how.” And I think that when we talk about peace, centering people’s humanity, protecting people’s rights – it’s not just about the “what” and the end goal, which often gets a lot of focus, but I actually think it’s much more about the “how”, and the way we are coming together, and how we interpret that “what”, and how we act in, you know, the actions we take to get to that “what.” … We value Jewish and, rather, we value Israeli, uh, uh, uh, we value the safety and human rights of Israelis, we value the safety and human rights of Palestinians.

    I can’t find the rest of the quote to clip & paste– stunningly obamaesque– except on the above-linked unclippable twitterfeed.

    and then the California Highway Patrol showed up at the house of the guy who tweeted about this.

    Police turn up at the home of ‘shaken’ California podcaster for ‘threatening AOC’ after he posted a tweet criticizing her comments on Palestine and Israel – but she insists it WASN’T her who called it in

    Ryan Wentz tweeted on April 7 that AOC’s remarks on Palestine and Israel were ‘incredibly underwhelming’
    She was being interviewed by Michael Miller, the head of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
    A day after posting the tweet, two California Highway Patrol officers visited him at home in L.A.
    He says they accused him of threatening to kill the New York congresswoman
    They said the threat was reported to Capitol Police in DC and they forwarded it to him
    Wentz does not post his name or any other personal information online
    AOC says it was not her office who reported him and that someone else must have

    1. ambrit

      Ah, the Political Police show up to ‘chastise’ an errant podcaster.
      When regular officers of the State Police show up to ‘police’ opinion and content in the Internet Agora, America is ‘officially’ a Police State.

      1. JBird4049

        I am more worried about the chance of such chastizement becoming lethal.

        With American policing becoming more proactive with the use of SWAT, home invasions, and occasionally just shooting people who have been reported, or even suspected, of having said something threatening, or possibly being, in someway, somehow, somewhere, maybe being violent.

        This has included FaceBorg postings and Twitter as well as anonymous phone calls Reporting someone you disagree with is might get them assassinated. Saying that they have received anonymous “reports” is also good cover for the police to do what they want or to cover any screw ups.

        1. The Rev Kev

          You realize what you are talking about here. This is “Swatting” taking place but not for someone playing games online but for people criticizing AOC. I read that the crew that helped AOC get elected were dumped for people more ‘aligned’ with the Democrat party afterwards so it may have been one of them that reported this guy to the Capital Police originally that lead to the visit by the CHP. Then again, AOC herself has characterized online criticism by a YouTube commentator of her as “violence” so maybe it is ‘understood’ that this is an OK thing to do as far as she is concerned.

    2. Aomoa

      I feel like something is missing from this story. It doesn’t really make sense, considering that a lot of people say way worse things about AOC on the Internet all the time, and I doubt they all have troopers showing up. But, since I don’t really know I guess I’ll just reserve judgement for now.

      1. Displaced Platitudes

        For what it’s worth, I’ve seen tweets that seem to indicate that the alleged visit by the CHP resulted in the podcaster receiving a card from an officer. This card listed a fictitious address for a precinct and did not include a regional division, which is commonly displayed on such a card. Also, how would CHP have jurisdiction for a federal complaint?
        Something has a malodorous scent in Denmark, me thinks.

        1. Displaced Platitudes

          I followed up on the original tweet by @queeralamode and researched the business card allegedly presented by the CHP: the address is legit for the dignitary protection section of the CHP and the fax number listed also appears correct. I’m still not completely convinced, but there is at least some legitimacy to the claim.

          1. JBird4049

            “Dignitary Protection Section”

            I must admit that I did not know that there is such a thing. Funny, I always kinda think of the CHP as the clown police.

    3. Big Tap

      “Wentz does not post his name or any other personal information online”. That’s the chilling part. They still found him. We lost all anonymity. Saw this story on Tucker Carlson and he said that Twitter turned him in.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Did he threaten to kill her?

        Or did he say that killing her would be a good thing?

        Or did he say that he doesn’t like her very much?

        What actual statement was used or exploited to justify this sense of threat?

  17. Verifyfirst

    Lambert asked yesterday about possible causes of the high Covid numbers in Michigan’s thumb region:

    Many of Michigan’s Thumb residents are done with COVID-19 pandemic, even as virus rages like ‘wildfire’

    I still imagine the jaw dropping–like 80% infection rates in seven Michigan prisons–way higher than any country on earth–may have contributed. But hey….herd immunity!!

  18. Jason Boxman

    When I lived in Boston, I got a fundraising letter (and free calendar with inspiring photos of the facilities!) from one of these hospital systems. I looked up the CEO salary, and it was in the millions. Hardly a surprise, but I sent a nasty tweet anyway.

    It was Mass Gen: “@MassGeneralNews Your fundraising calendar is in bad taste given this: “… Dr. Peter Slavin of [MGH] … reported $3.6 million in compensation in 2016…”

    1. petal

      It was hard being an underpaid employee whose job security depended solely on hard to get grants(or your boss’s schmoozing of rich people to hand over their money), knowing Peter Slavin over in the building next door was getting an enormous sum every year. “You can’t eat prestige”. I don’t think anyone I worked with(MDs included) had a good opinion of the guy. I have known one of the other people talked about in the article for 20 years. The Boston area is a cesspool for stuff like this-lots of potential for investigative journalists. I hope more is done. There’s a reason why nothing moves in the right direction and the lives of little people never get better.

  19. Mark Gisleson

    One aspect of the Amazon Alabama union vote that doesn’t seem to have occurred to most analysts is the care that anti-union employers take in hiring new help. They have excellent insight into the kinds of employees who would vote for a union, and given a surplus of applicants rarely end up with union friendly employees.

    The first real trouble Amazon got into was with Somali employees in Minnesota. Immigrants and refugees are usually expected to be grateful for employment, and I think it surprised Amazon that the Somalis were very serious about observing their prayer times. Immigrants are eager to curry favor but refugees on occasion can be quite obstinate in demanding their rights (not realizing that even in the land of Freedoms their rights end when they clock in).

    Whatever the climate is for unions in Bessemer, it’s a safe bet they hired the folks they thought would be least likely to vote for a union. And it seems they got the employees/sheeple they were looking for.

    1. ambrit

      Now that the ‘legal’ methods of unionization have been shown to be ineffectual, it’s time to deploy some ‘illegal’ methods. Watch. The conditions of living in these times are slowly radicalizing a decent sized segment of the population in America.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      How do you screen for “union sympathizers”? Pull out an empty soda bottle during the interview, leave and check to see if it’s full when you return?

      Half those people have never had any experience with a union EVER. Asking them to join is like asking me to join the Shriners. Why would I?

      Note to unions, Sanders supporters and anyone on the left. If you can’t promise something tangible the why bother people?

      1. montanamaven

        Good time to mention Robert Fitch’s “Solidarity for Sale”. US unions are not like European ones. He points out that union leaders in France make the same as the workers on the shop floor. And dues are not mandatory. And no control over gobs of money. Also, here in the US we cannot strike in solidarity. We cannot participate in a general strike like they can in France. It’s been years since I read this eye opener so maybe I’m not remembering it right. The history of unions in Chicago and how they fought each other and were more aligned with the company they worked for than they were with other union workers was not pretty. Fitch has no love for the union leaders. And why would they be called “bosses”?

        1. rowlf

          Thanks for the book name as I look forward reading how Fitch feels about Dues Check Off. Also, in the US, several unions in transportation are under the Railway Labor Act. Nobody can go on strike unless the government gives you permission.

          In France air traffic control often has short strikes. A pandemic joke was that French ATC had a strike during the pandemic and nobody noticed.

          1. rowlf

            I loaned/gave my copy of “Which Side Are You on?: Trying to Be for Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back” by Thomas Geoghegan to a friend on the local shop committee years ago.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Isn’t it the antiUnion rich classes which invented the phrase ” union boss” or “labor boss” and isn’t it the pro-rich-classes MSM which propagates the phrase ” union boss”?

      2. Procopius

        One interview I read about, a young guy said the mandatory anti-union lecture he attended was really helpful to him. He had never heard about unions before. Alabama went Right-to-Freeload in 1953. I’ve seen commenters blaming the workers, but if that’s the best job in town, and the company says they’ll close the warehouse if you vote union, and there’s every reason to believe them, I think it’s in your best interest to vote against the union. Bezos is a [family blog] monster, and I do not believe he is not guilty of crimes. The only question is whether the federal government is powerful enough to rein him in.

    3. ckimball

      The term “sheeple” is an angry, disrespectful and destructive term to reference people who are not in accord with a particular group thought at a particular time.
      I wish we could stop using it as a shallow assessment of where people
      are at. I have been wondering at what point it has insinuated itself into our
      contemporary use. This is not a criticism of your interesting post. It is the
      word that that I finally had to respond to.

      1. Alfred

        I have to give a big shout out to Skippy for an ephiphany the other day. I myself have agonized my whole life about being punished, economically and romantically, for not aligning with someone else’s ‘paradigm of reality.’ Without willing discussion, no understanding can be reached. But, shunning and metaphical rubbing the nose in one’s pee seem to be the ticket. But I can’t count the number of people who after I was patient and asked questions, came to an understanding with me. This does not mean we like each other or became partners in any way, but we interacted without malice. And this is not universal, it was personal, between me and that other person. That’s all I hope for any more, peace with individuals I interact with.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        I appreciate your comment. I added “sheeple” as an afterthought, but only after giving it a lot of thought. I guess sheeple has more connotations than I thought as I associate it with groupthink and not rocking the boat. The only political context I have for it is Rush Limbaugh using it to describe liberals.

        I’ve worked in warehouses and in this century they’ve become Skinner boxes. I’ve commented before about ‘no sitting’ policies but they’re just one of countless top>down inflicted management theories warehouse workers have to endure.

        I’m not mad at the Alabama workers. I do get where they’re coming from. They’re coming from the place all workers are now expected to come from as figments of a senior manager’s narcissistic imagination where everyone’s grateful for their job, respectful of authority and always willing to put their family and life on hold if poor planning results in a need for overtime.

  20. Jason Boxman

    And the death of local media is a critical blow to transparency and accountability in the United States. Outside of the few major cities that still have dailies, where else would this be caught?

    But the practice can have corrosive side effects. A hospital CEO wearing many hats can trigger distrust among staff, patients, and the public about the potential for bias in medical research and treatment. Last summer, at the Brigham, Nabel resigned as a director for Cambridge biotech Moderna, amid concerns that her outside job could influence a nationwide clinical trial that Brigham researchers were helping lead on the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. She resigned after a Globe reporter contacted the hospital to ask about how she managed this conflict of interest; she sold what turned out to be $8.5 million of Moderna stock last year, before the trial concluded.

    (bold mine)

    ProPublica frequently does reporting like this in collaboration with local and regional papers, but we need that kind of reporting in every city and region.

  21. Susan the other

    J&J under scrutiny over 4 cases of serious blood clots. Interesting phenomenon. Clotting is seen in a very few patients across all vaccines. So there is such confusion now about low platelet counts and the risk of clotting. Which sounds wrong. I’m wondering if platelets, which are known to promote clots, are a mechanism to clean up blood sludge but can sometimes cause dangerous clot formation. But without sufficient platelets there is still a problem with clogging. Because the problem with the Covid shots is that low platelet counts are associated with thrombosis in the brain and heart-lungs. So I’m guessing these thromboses are more like sludge and clogs of blood? The reports early on about the Covid virus attacking red blood cells for the hemoglobin molecule, devouring it, and leaving behind lotsa detritus of the dead blood cell filling alveoli and suffocating patients seems instructive right now. There was no mention back then of low platelet counts IIRC – but low platelets are often caused by infections which deplete the supply. And Heparin is used to “thin” out blood that is clotting/clogging. I just took the J&J so I’m curious what the recommendations will be. I naturally have a low platelet count. So I’m taking an aspirin a day for now. But not sure what difference that will make.

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Myanmar, the “outside world” has nothing positive to contribute. And no intention of contributing anything anyway.

    The only thing the “non-hostile” outside world can do is not interfere. Maybe allow all refugees in flight to flee so the Tatmadaws don’t kill them all.

    It will be up to the Myanmarians to do something, nothing, or something else. It looks and sounds like the coup-opponents and non-supporters understand that the Army has imposed a choice of total victory or total defeat. So when the coup non-members and non-supporters become trained and armed enough by the various Rebel Nation Armies to where they can hold up their end of the Myanmarese Civil War, the two sides will fight to the unconditional surrender of one side or the other. If the Myanmarese coup non-members and non-supporters decide they will never surrender, not even unconditionally; then the war won’t end till one side has functionally exterminated the other.

    If the Tatmadaws think they are losing, they will decide to go down like Milosewicz. In which case, the “people” will probably decide that theTatmadaws will have to be killed in detail, down to the last Tatmadaw, just like with cancer. Because one cell left alive can regrow. And one Tatmadaw left alive will reconstitute the Tatmadaw someday and begin this all over again. That is what the non-Tatmadaws will be driven to conclude.

    If the ” Border Area Rebel Nations” move fast and hard to destroy every land link, air link, communications link, etc. between Myanmar and China, then we will know that they are serious about holding up their end of the coming Civil War of Victory or Extermination, and are seriously trying to prevent Communazi China from getting aid to the Tatmadaws.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . Concentration labor camps for the Uighurs . . . what would you rather call it?

        1. ambrit

          How about “Prison Industrial Complex?”
          I mean, it is a fixture of elites run economies everywhere.
          As examples: ‘Organization Todt’ during the Reich, Scarlet O’Hara using convict labour to run her sawmill in Atlanta after the American War Between the States, the Gulag in all it’s iterations, American prison manufacturing facilities, the (in)famous Bridge on the River Kwai (a real bridge in Thailand,) etc. etc.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Some of those have higher death rates than others.

            Some of those are more based on cultural extermination than others.

            ( In precise terms, perhaps the CCP camps for Uyghurs combine elements of the American and Canadian Residential Schools against Indians with Gulag Labor but at a lower death rate. I don’t have to praise Concentration Labor Camping in East Turkestan to condemn Prisondustrial Complexing here).

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Tatmadaw is Burmese for “armed forces”. They are not an ethnic group.

      However, the officer corps is a separate caste, with its families often walled off from the rest of the country in their own housing estates and schools.

      (That is fairly typical in many countries, although many — not Myanmar — also practice a balance of power by, e.g. upgunning national police forces, balancing Army with Navy/Marines, etc. and keeping the command structures separate and to some extent rival. For fun, take a close look at the locations of military barracks in the DC area sometime).

      ….Enlisted ranks are almost exclusively drawn from the Burmese (Bamar) lowland states, typically farm boys, who have very little hesitation in shooting urban students or ethnic minorities.

      But of course to function as a modern military force, and still more to function as an organized crime / business empire, the tatmadaw also needs ranks and officers drawn from the educated classes.

      So that now means you have soldiers being ordered to shoot their cousins and schoolmates. This was not the case in 1988.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Yes. I already knew that.

        Tatmadaws are not a separate ethnic group in Myanmar in the same sense that the TonTon Macoutes were not a separate ethnic group in Haiti.

        But they were/are a functionally separate social group.

        The Tatmadaws think they will win control by TonTon Macoutifying the population. They may well know what the Haitians did to all the TonTon Macoutes they could catch after the Haitians defeated the Tonton Macoutes. Which means they may well expect to be hunted down and killed if they lose the war.

        Which means the Civil War in Myanmar will proceed to the utter defeat of one side or the other. And that defeat will probably mean mass extermination till one side is physically unable to mount an effective resistance anymore. And each side will be determined to be the side which will not be the side which will be exterminated into surrender as long as it has a choice.

        So this war will proceed to the functional extermination of Myanmar, or the functional extermination of the TonTon Tatmacoutes.

  23. ambrit

    Something for the Zeitgeist Watch.
    Spring is ‘officially’ here. The mosquito spray truck began it’s nightly service last week.
    The Ice Cream Truck is back on the streets. A small local concern, minority owned and run, sports a mini-fleet of cargo vans kitted out as frozen treat delivery units. What is ‘new’ this year is the in the choice of music played as the trucks cruise up and down the residential streets of our half-horse town. This year, the old music, “Turkey in the Straw” has been replaced by “La Cucaracha.”
    “Turkey in the Straw”:
    “La Cucaracha”:
    And here’s the source of all those Ice Cream Truck tunes, Nichols Electronics.
    And, the Digital II (discontinued):

    1. Alfred

      That sounds like full-circle for me–in first grade we danced the Mexican hat dance and sang La Cucharacha at our Ice Cream Social. (1961).

    2. Ranger Rick

      Spotted an ad in the local alt-weekly today recruiting ice cream truck drivers. It makes me wonder how food trucks are doing now that people have to eat outside anyway.

  24. Wukchumni

    Did the last burn pile of the year, things are drying up so quick, in a fortnight a wildfire could happen which is bizarre if things were normal, but they aren’t.

    I’d planned to do more but health issues got in the way, along with 5 trees that keeled over requiring disassembly, the latest one being an oak tree full of foliage and green as envy, alas it didn’t last. I need more firewood like hell needs charcoal briquettes, but its better to stack up rounds than leave a dead tree to fester, sprawled out.

    130 million or so pine trees died in the 2012-15 drought in the medium Sierra from around 3-7k in altitude, and I noticed an interesting thing last summer in that trees were dying in the 7-9k range, whereas they weren’t really affected when the 130 million were being assaulted by the bark beetles on tour.

    It’s quite something to watch a pine tree die all of the sudden going from green to light tan in less than a week’s duration, and only because they were near our cabin did I really pay notice, most pass away anonymously, unheralded.

    Wish I could claim i’m ready for the 7 month long fire season about to hit us, but like everybody else i’m in a hurry up and wait situation.

  25. Doc Octagon

    Waking up from the nightmare of European history and expecting Russian Airborne to move into Ukraine the same day the PLA moves into Taiwan. Why? Because their foreign secretaries of two rather large powers met and basically said as much in a stark choreography of public relations and synchronous military exercises rivaling Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” autumn 1913 debut. The language of governments (on both sides, East and West) stating their rival’s legitimacy is only a contingency of an authority gone too far.

    The stage is set, the players are agitated, the syntax is bureaucratically stilted – it occurred to me that both Russian and Chinese intellectuals tend to go abroad to teach their fields to Anglophones in higher numbers than Anglophones teaching in Mandarin or Russian. I wonder if Russian and Chinese state-produced English language content is aimed to persuade their respective expats as opposed to a foreign audience, or if the material is aimed toward audiences in neutral countries. There is a rich diaspora network into which the West can tap. Which is probably why Russian and Chinese security services abroad feel they need to be so prolific in their HUMINT.

    1. ambrit

      At least the opening night of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” in 1913 was not called an insurrection.
      If, as you infer, Russia and China get their collective acts together in tandem, could America be faced with the prospect of a two front war? That situation is considered sub-optimal by most competent military strategists.
      Anyway, if it really does come to war, expect it to ramp up to some sort of thermonuclear exchange. The resulting Nuclear Winter can be expected to do “something serious” to combat global warming.
      Thinking about a possible three front conflict leads to the question; how serious are the Communist insurgents in India anyway?

      1. Procopius

        Despite their possession of nukes, the Russian Federation is only a shadow of what the Soviet Union was militarily. They might be able to conquer Ukrain (not sure) but they would probably be inferior to the U.S. The biggest deterrents to war there are the logistical problem and the reluctance of those belligerent NATO countries to actually send their troops to be killed. And MAD, of course, which I haven’t seen mentioned in any of the government press organs. Frankly, I’m not as confident in the anti-ballistic missile system as Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland are.

  26. Offtrail

    This I loved from “Support the Tropes”:

    If well-paid US columnists start becoming preoccupied with human rights in your country, it is a pretty good sign that you are about to get bombed.

    Like much of what FAIR puts out, it’s all too true.

  27. lobelia

    Yep ambrit, @ April 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm:

    When regular officers of the State Police show up to ‘police’ opinion and content in the Internet Agora, America is ‘officially’ a Police State.

    And, don’t know about other STATES, but I’ll guess that in California, where the above outrage took place, the California Highway Patrol [CHP] has been called on righteous complaints regarding Federal, State, and even Local legislators for decades; because California has been a Police State for decades upon decades. In the above instance, perhaps a Los Angeles County, California Federal or State legislator was called from one of AOC’s crew, or whomever, who then called the CHP.

    For example, I’m well familiar with a case, about ten or so years ago now, where a scandalous (finally determined, at the end of his day), Silicon Valley, Blue™ Federal House Member’s office called the CHIP on someone already besieged with fear for both their parent and themselves, for no reason other than to SILENCE someone.

    Thankfully, in that case, the complainer got somewhat lucky (though still most assuredly put on an undeserved and heinous list), in that the responding CHIP officer only called. The CHP officer seemed rather outraged as to why that Federal House member’s Office called the CHP, given that the citizen had not at all threatened anyone, and had every right to be outraged at the outrageous (possibly criminal) response the citizen received from the House Member’s striver, helper LGBT™ (above all other concerns) intern person when the citizen asked an extremely valid question whether Age Discrimination in Silicon Valley (particularly for already underpaid females) was going to be addressed by the House Member. The striver, helper intern person gave no reason why the House Member was not addressing that issue whatsoever (despite the House Member’s ‘older’ age and Age Discrimination being increasingly highlighted as to Silicon Valley in particular) – instead suggesting the citizen apply for Government Disability when the citizen had given no indication that they were ill (which would have to have been Mental Disability???… yes helper person actually did that!!!); the citizen was just inexplicably unemployed – despite current education, a profession, and years of experience – during Obama/Biden’s Great[™] Recession™.

    gotta run (there are California STATE patrolled highways all over the place here)

    1. ambrit

      Oh my, this makes me think of Dashiell Hammett’s stories about union busting and assorted criminal activities by the agent’s of the Oligarchs back a hundred years or so.
      See the ‘Continental Op’ stories:
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.
      [Don’t run. It makes you stand out. Walk, or saunter. That looks more natural.]
      Stay safe!

  28. Alfred

    Can we just admit that the priority to have a mic in the “MSM” these days is to be just sensationalist garbage?

  29. The Rev Kev

    Wow. Just wow. So there is an active volcano going on in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent right now and the populace is being evacuated. Two Royal Caribbean cruise ships and two Carnival Cruise Line’s vessels have arrived to help do this but – wait for it – only people that have been vaccinated will be allowed to board. In addition, the neighboring islands of St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua will accept evacuees but again, only if they have been vaccinated. I thought that “Left Behind” only applied to non-Christians-

  30. lobelia

    I should have added to my comment a short while ago, still in moderation, that there are no links to that voiceless experience (enforced helplessness) anywhere (in case the moderator[s] are searching for one) as to the outrageous call from California Highway Patrol [CHP] near ten years ago, perpetrated by a Federal House Member’s office, because the abused citizen I was referring to had no faith in contacting the press further after contacting a well known, Jacobin level progressive journalist who wrote absolutely nothing on it, and never followed up.

    It has become an increasingly terrifying world where if there is no online link, it apparently did not happen.

    gotta really run now

  31. Wukchumni

    Gaetz Targeted by House Ethics Panel Amid Sex-Trafficking Probe Bloomberg
    Zteag is setting in, that pussy Al Franken resigns over an old photo of him on the verge of clutching clothed mammary specimens on a sleeping beauty up in the air, but Matt’s not going down without a fight over what looks like a laundry list of ill inspired forays utilizing carnal knowledge, not there is anything wrong with that, it appears.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Franken was betrayed and near-forced out by his fellow Democrats. If he had been a Red Gingrich type of person, he would have stayed in regardless. Perhaps the “Gingrich Psychology” is what would-be progressives need to survive in the House or Senate or wherever against weaponised me-too-ification.

  32. Skunk

    The Cell article on how the P.1 (Brazilian) strain evades antibodies is worrying. Note that the article states the P.1 is evasion is occurring by an unknown mechanism, outside the RBD. This means that vaccine escape may potentially occur in ways that we don’t understand.

  33. Briny

    “War Clouds Over Russia And Ukraine? Ask Brussels” One of the more irritating things I come across is the assertion that the B-1 is “nuclear capable.” For anyone that bothers to follow arms control treaties, a specific requirement of New-START was the destruction of the equipment capable of allowing nuclear capability for the B-1, which was verified.

    If you allow such a violation by the US, then you can pretty much imagine the complete range allowing nuclear devices across all US/NATO platforms, undersea, surface fleet, and air. Heck, even space (FOBS). I’m not saying it is impossible, for my sins I do have a nuclear security clearance. It just seems unlikely that such an accord has been violated so soon.

    On the other hand, I’m also an economist, so sue me, it is also demonstrable that Russia is also been out of compliance with the IRBM treaty given deployed systems, subsurface, surface, air and even cargo container, but unwilling to admit such which is why the US withdrew from that treaty. That is well before recent deployments of “hypersonic” systems and unlimited range nuclear “torpedoes.”

    I am extremely unhappy with all the participants here but not just these two players. It is well past time either the PRC steps up to the table or gets cut off at the knees. As with the other players around the world. One would think, being neighbors and almost certain potential adversaries, that Russia would push to make PRC participation a requirement, but I’ve no idea on where Putin’s calculus happens to lie. I do know that the PRC has certain designs on Eastern Asia whatever anyone thinks.

  34. paul

    Lapham’s article is tip top for me:

    the agents and enablers of America’s plutocratic status quo, which is why in the winter issue of Foreign Affairs they go to the trouble of explaining that it is not they who swing the wrecking ball but the wrecking ball that swings them. They’re only along for the ride

    That's good metaphor, in my opinion

    Reminds me of gore vidal's essays on the elite, they were quite happy some good emerged, but family came first.

    Conrad is up there with PK Dick, in my honestest opinion.

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