Links 4/21/2021

A bleg from Yves: Readers, do any of you know whether chats on Zoom and Webex are stored, and if so, how? Locally? In the cloud? Both? And if in the cloud, how long are they retained? Yves means “know.” No speculation, please. She needs accurate input. Thank you! –lambert

An Adorable Trio of Rescued River Otters Playfully Battle One Another Inside a Bucket Full of Ice Cubes Laughing Squid (Re SIlc). Normally, I don’t run imagery from zoos, but this really is cute.

BBRG: $100 Million New Jersey Deli Is Representative of Nothing Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture

Bernie Madoff Told the Truth About One Thing New York Magazine

A Bond Tantrum Is Better Than a Lehman Moment John Authers, Bloomberg. “Lead us not into inflation.” But deliver us from interest.

2% Is The New 10% The Heisenberg Report

The Corruption Behind America’s Highway System, Explained Jalopnik

Carbon emissions are soaring at historic rate as the world reopens The Hill

Cities Are Our Best Hope for Surviving Climate Change Bloomberg. If we’ve euthanized the rentiers?


Vaccines are working: the charts that show the Covid endgame FT

Continuing COVID-19 Vaccination of Front-Line Workers in British Columbia with the AstraZeneca Vaccine: Benefits in the Face of Increased Risk for Prothrombotic Thrombocytopenia (preprint) medRxiv (IM). Conclusions: “The benefits of immediately continuing immunization of front-line workers with the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risk both at a societal level and at an individual risk level for those over 40, and those over 30 in high-risk areas.” IM writes: “Executive summary: the disease is way worse than the cure. Robert Smith would agree, ha-ha!”

Cerebral venous thrombosis: a retrospective cohort study of 513,284 confirmed COVID-19 cases and a comparison with 489,871 people receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (PDF) Center for Open Science. From the Discussion: “In summary, COVID-19 is associated with a markedly increased incidence of CVT compared to the general population, patients with influenza, and people who have received BNT162b2 [Pfizer] or mRNA-1273 [Moderna] vaccines. The risk with COVID-19 also appears greater than with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [AstraZenaca], although as noted this conclusion is tentative. The rarity of CVT in all populations means that larger sample sizes are required to confirm the results, and complementary study designs are needed to aid interpretation. Nevertheless, the current data highlight the risk of serious thrombotic events in COVID-19, and can help contextualize and inform debate about the risk-benefit ratio for current COVID-19 vaccines.” With those qualifications, this handy chart:

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Is It Time to Eliminate Outdoor Mask Mandates? NEJM Watch

Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Mom Eschaton

‘A very good weird’: Israel drops outdoor COVID mask order Reuters

Australia must act to prevent airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) Medical Journal of Australia. The Abstract sums up the science and the politics: “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is believed by many to be transmitted via respiratory droplets and fomites, with occasional airborne transmission observed in the setting of aerosol generating procedures. However, research shows viable SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the air in the absence of such procedures, at distances greater than those specified in physical distancing guidelines. Additionally, numerous outbreaks have occurred which can only be explained by airborne transmission. There is an urgent need to update Australia’s infection prevention and control guidelines to reflect the airborne transmission routes.”

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A leading conspiracy theorist who thought COVID-19 was a hoax died from the virus after hosting illegal house parties Insider


China confirms Xi Jinping will attend Biden’s Earth Day climate summit South China Morning Post

‘Nothing about the Mekong is normal now’: Anger along Southeast Asia’s great river as water levels become unpredictable Channel News Asia

Ally with Vietnam Noah Smith, Noahpinion. No. IMNSHO: Let Southeast Asia play both ends against the middle. They’re good at it, and it’s what they prefer.

Duterte “Not Interested” in Confronting China on Fishing Rights Maritime Executive


Myanmar’s Civil War Has Already Begun The Diplomat. Hmm:

Source: Prayut won’t join Asean summit on Myanmar Bangkok Post

Myanmar Coup Weakens Southeast Asia Security and Cooperation United States Institute for Peace

Keeping the troops in line:

Housewives rally:


Preparing India for Extreme Climate Events: Mapping Hotspots and Response Mechanisms People’s Archive of Rural India

In photos: the grim aftermath of Cape Town’s fire GroundUp. Aerial image:

‘The damage is total’: fire rips through historic South African library and plant collection Nature


Number of US troops in Afghanistan could increase to help with drawdown efforts Stars and Stripes

British coast is facing an invasion of SHARKS as a result of reduced marine traffic in lockdown – with multiple sightings of both basking and porbeagle species in recent weeks Daily Mail


Labour disclosure ‘shows antisemitism was weaponised against Corbyn,’ activists say Middle East Eye

Three social housing high rises added to government ACM figures, nearly four years on from Grenfell Inside Housing

The European System of Monopoly The Counterbalance

Europe Has Finally Turned a Corner on Covid-19 Vaccinations Bloomberg

COVID-19 tracker: J&J resumes vaccine rollout in Europe; AstraZeneca’s delayed COVAX supply resolved, UNICEF says Fierce Pharma

Brazil on the brink NYT (Re Silc). Scroll down.

Biden Administration

EXCLUSIVE Fed Chair Powell says won’t allow ‘substantial’ overshoot of inflation target – April 8 letter to U.S. senator Reuters

White House formally backs bill to grant DC statehood The Hill

AP sources: Biden to pledge halving greenhouse gases by 2030 AP

J&J and other drugmakers go on trial over US opioid crisis Agence France Presse

“We love immigrants but only if we can weaponize them against our enemies — especially Russia and China!” Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

George Floyd

George Floyd Trial Verdict: Derek Chauvin Found Guilty on All Counts Teen Vogue

Police State Watch

As Frustrations Toward Chicago Police Mount, Another Attempt At Reform Stalls At City Hall: ‘We’re Out Of Runway’ Block Club Chicago

What Police Impunity Looks Like: “There Was No Discipline as No Wrongdoing Was Found” Pro Publica

“Do What You Gotta Do”: Cop Shows Bolster Idea That Police Violence Works Truthout. From 2014, still germane.

Depressed Police Officer Reminds Self That Chauvin Verdict Not Representative Of System At Large The Onion

Imperial Collapse Watch

New Zealand says ‘uncomfortable’ with expanding Five Eyes Reuters

George W. Bush said he’s troubled by ‘the capacity of people to spread all kind of untruth’ Insider. Chutzpah. There are many accounts of Bush’s WMD propaganda campaign, but Sam Gardiner’s (PDF) “Truth from these Podia” is contemporaneous and the one I remember.

These are the faces of extremism in the military Task and Purpose

Sports Desk

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw AP

Absolute Scenes As Rowdy British Lads Have Tossed The Super League Into The Rubbish Bin Defector

Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests WaPo. If this were true for all “humans,” then workers would never become more productive at their tasks over time. Perhaps it is true for WaPo’s readership, however. Or perhaps WaPo has redefined “human.” In any case, if this article signals that the PMC, in its indirect, credential-worshiping, hive mind-ish way, is bringing itself to recognize that, say, complex eligibility requirements leave “our democracy” worse off than simply writing people checks, then I am here for it.

Class Warfare

Tens of thousands of meatpacking workers have been vaccinated, but the industry’s Covid-19 crisis continues The Counter. Funny thing, there are some people for whom the pandemic isn’t over at all.

How Customer Service Surveys Are Eroding Workers’ Rights Jacobin

For all their fine words, CEOs aren’t sharing the pain FT

Just 12 megadonors accounted for 7.5% of political giving over past decade, says report ABC

“Generous” Billionaires Are Part of the Problem Jacobin

Harassers and bullies succeed in tech because silence is encouraged The Registers

Childhood Hunger and Adult Crime: The Impact of the Food Stamp Program Causal Inference

Good deed (1). OK, OK, it’s from the political class. Nevertheless, good for Mondale:

Good deed (2):

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Isotope_C14

    China confirms Xi Jinping will attend Biden’s Earth Day climate summit South China Morning Post

    “Last year Xi announced that China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.”

    Just in time…

    418 ppm today of CO2 and that number, if it increases linearly from last years number, should have us only a little under 500 ppm by 2060.

    How does one homestead Antarctica at this point?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Considering the rebound effect that will happen as all that ice is gradually removed from Antarctica, I would definitely go with an earthquake-proof dwelling.

      1. ambrit

        Now we know why Germany claims Neu-Schwabenland. It’ll be valuable, with or without the “Base.”

        1. Roger

          We may all be seeking safe lebensraum near the poles a few decades from now, shame that it will all be covered by massive collapsing ice sheets and melting permafrost belching out huge amounts of flammable methane. Better to save what we have, but that may not be “politically” doable.

          1. Procopius

            Read Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel for a picture of what we will need to do. I don’t think we’ll do it, and we won’t have colonies on other star systems, but it’s a good story.

      1. Tom Bradford

        Warming isn’t going to affect the earth’s tilt on its axis so you’re going to have some odd growing seasons in Antarctica.

  2. Raymond Sim

    Hey Lambert, suggest you take a look at the Covid situation in Davis, California. We’ve got wastewater monitoring, via ‘Healthy Davis Together’, renewed five day a week in-person schooling, and all three of B.1.1.7, B.1.35.1, and P.1 have been detected in town recently. The Yolo County Public Health Officer recently reported that 2/3 of positive tests in the first week of April were B.1.1.7.

    Wastewater monitoring is indicating increased prevalence. One neighborhood, ‘East Central Davis’ would seem to account for most of the increase. If I’m not mistaken kids from there mostly attend Birch Lane Elementary.

  3. John Siman

    Teen Vogue on the George Floyd trial? Why not just ask Chelsea Clinton’s publicist’s opinion? A serious, that is, necessarily unsettling, discussion of Floyd and Chauvin could start with Aimee Terese, Benjamin Studebaker’s friend, who is finally back on Twitter: “The United States kills thousands of George Floyd’s every year,” she writes, “by drone strike alone. Andrew Cuomo was condemning elderly care home residents to their death as he won an Emmy & signed lucrative book contract to be sold to self-same smug libs who throw money at BLM hand over fist.”

    1. Yves Smith

      I don’t mean to be hard on you, but Lambert has been regularly featuring Teen Vogue because it has been providing some excellent social commentary and also provides a window into what young people are being encouraged to think by a not-terribly-MSM-captured outlet. Fashion ads have such limited overlap with big corporate ads that Teen Vogue has more editorial independence than a fair number of other pubs. And their status as a targeted ad buy and presumably the best buy in that space also gives them some leeway.

      1. John Siman

        Oh, that’s OK, Yves. I just want to get readers excited about the much deeper darker questions Aimee Terese raises.

    2. Cian

      I find Aimee Terese’s brand of competitive ultraleftism tiresome. These two things are not related and the conviction of this police officer is a good thing that ten years ago would be unimaginable (even if this is insufficient). I imagine that if Aimee Terese was a black woman living in a poor black neighborhood, rather than a white Australian, she might think differently about this event. But I guess all these people (drone strike victims and black victims of police brutality) are all just abstractions as she establishes her personal brand on twitter.

      If I was to use Aimee Terese’s tactics back on her, what about the deaths in the DRC which dwarf US drone strikes. If you look hard enough you can always find something worse, but so what?

      1. Carolinian

        These two things are not related

        Of course they are related and your simple assertion doesn’t change the fact. Violence is violence and those who condemn uncalled for violence in some instances while excusing it in others are merely hypocrites.

        1. nick

          The teen vogue author doesn’t excuse drone strikes in this piece, and to my knowledge Teen Vogue’s coverage of drone strikes has been pretty critical of them.

          I think it’s pretty reasonable to narrow the scope of news a article so that a coherent description is possible within a concise piece. The original commenter above dismisses the venue, perhaps ignorantly, but then also introduces the idea of connections between different forms violence and killing in a very shallow way, by quoting someone else who also provides little depth or relevance to the topic. The point made is facile, and does little but distract from the very topical subject of policing in the USA.

          1. Carolinian

            I wasn’t criticizing Teen Vogue and in fact haven’t read the article….just making a general point.

      2. CoryP

        It’s three things, isn’t it? George Floyd, drone bombings, and Cuomo’s deadly nursing homes. I’d connect at least the first two. Obviously all three are joined by a disregard for human life.

        That being said I’m not sure I get Aimee Terese either. Though my only exposure to her was on twitter where she was endlessly subtweeting unknown actors and I was confused trying to understand the half-conversation I was reading.

        Agreed that the police officer conviction indicates *something*. Even if that’s only the state recognizing they need an occasional sacrifice to maintain their legitimacy.

        1. Carolinian

          I think it’s dubious that Chauvin’s conviction will really change anything. One reason cops have a sense of impunity is that they know that people who live in middle class neighborhoods like mine depend on the police to suppress the poor neighborhoods that the rest of us so willingly exploit. This is a social problem much more than a cop problem. And those at the top of our American society like things just fine the way they are.

          1. CoryP

            re: “social problem”

            Yeah, I guess that’s what’s predicted by those who describe the police as the enforcers of capitalist property relations.

            I do understand the desire to take what wins one can get. Even though this is clearly a show for public consumption.

        2. MK

          It really doesn’t indicate “something”. It indicates only that the center of media attention will get the results the media (and their backers) want.

          In Rochester NY, the officers that killed Daniel Prude didn’t even have to sweat a trial, like 99% of police that kill.

          It’s all for show and that’s the real story.

        3. GERMO

          I’d say the point seems to be to gleefully amplify the meme that there are just way too many “smug libs who throw money at BLM hand over fist.” Distortion of ultraleft overstatement in pursuit of far-right propaganda goals — that’s usually been a key ingredient in the fascist stew.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Teen Vogue on the George Floyd trial? Why not just ask Chelsea Clinton’s publicist’s opinion?

      Because Teen Vogue, unlike Chelsea Clinton, has a Labor Reporter?

      I like my whiskey neat, and regularly quote Adolph Reed, New Left Review,, Labor Notes, etc. When Twitter personalities (EshaLegal, for example) cross my feed, I look at them, too. Perhaps at some point Aimee will.

    4. none

      Teen Vogue has been amazingly clueful. It’s almost like they have been running an actual lefty mag while their corporate overlords weren’t looking. They used to get linked on Chapo Trap House all the time.

      1. Zamfir

        My understanding is that actual Teens do not read magazines anymore, or even the web version of them. So Teen Vogue’s core audience is not teens, it’s adult women who started to read Teen Vogue when they were teens, 10 or 20 years ago.

        They still need a separate voice from other magazines within the group, which do they (among other) by tacking a more politically left course.

  4. John Beech

    Regarding police violence, I bet if the unions were sued and the payee were their pension funds instead of the cities, then the system would self-correct in record time. It’s my opinion we really just need to seek to realign the responsible parties because the city is not the one at fault. It’s the individual cop, and if cops collectively pay for bad actors, they’ll clean up their own ranks. What am I missing?

    1. Yves Smith

      While that sounds nice, many police pension funds are backstopped by the employer, so taking the money from the pension fund in the end is taking the money from the employer. That is the case in California for state cops and I am pretty sure many city/county cops (CalPERS has a couple of major formats for its pension plans and 2200 plans in total).

      In addition, many of the police pension plans that are not government-backstopped have gone to a two tier structure with younger cops getting a worse deal. The older pensions are pretty much inviolate so younger cops would take the hit. A big obstacle to recruiting better police officers!

      1. chris wardell

        All it took was video from multiple angles, a dozen eyewitnesses, a personal history of misconduct, denunciation by senior police, and millions of people marching in the streets worldwide.
        What have we learnt? If you see it, film it. Darnella Frazier, the 17yo who took the infamous video, says she feels she didn’t do enough to save George at the time. I wish her peace today. She’s a hero.

        1. cocomaan

          Corollary: if you’re going to get killed by the government, at least make sure someone is filming you. Make sure your last words are, “upload this to YouTube, like and subscribe.”

          Same went for Rodney King. Or Latasha Harris/Soon Ja Du in 1991. When TV killed the radio star, it also began training people to only believe in video.

          Not saying that the olden days were superior, but in say 18th and 19th century france, reading about injustice in a pamphlet or hearing someone read it aloud was what set people off into revolution.

          Painting an injustice took too long.

          1. cocomaan

            Sorry, Latasha Harlins, not Harris. A 15 year old black girl with a tragic life: her mother was gunned down in a bar, father was out of the picture, and she may have been groomed by a local community center employee.

        2. CuriosityConcern

          Live stream and save to the cloud while recording. If it just goes to your personal device it might never have been recorded.

          1. Phacops

            The ACLU has their Justice APP that downloads the video to their servers so that it cannot be destroyed by corrupt cops.

        3. Yves Smith

          Not really. It took a 9 minute 29 second video that Chavin and his buds parked on Floyd as if he was a trophy kill when Floyd was already cuffed behind his back and therefore no threat to the cops, the store video showing Floyd was at worst cheerfully high and non-threatening, and serious prosecution. The serious prosecution is the element heretofore missing.

    2. Fireship

      ” It’s my opinion… What am I missing?”

      Between the thoughts in your head and the hole in your face, there is the possibility to stop and think: do the thoughts in your head make sense, and do they really need to come out through your face hole (or through your keyboard)?

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Just another attempt to make the problem “bad apples” rather than systemic, as Glenn Beck was arguing passionately on TC last night when I did a drive-by. Ugh!

        1. Procopius

          They always forget that the actual proverb is, “One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.” If you really want to use that analogy, you should be saying, “That means that whole police department needs to be fired and new police recruited.” That is hard to do.

    3. Fraibert

      The proposal is legally untenable.

      Generally speaking, an employer is responsible (civilly liable) for all actions of an employee taken within the scope of his or her employment (extremely broadly defined). This includes actions wholly inconsistent with the employer’s desires or policies.

      Employee assaults customer at the place of work? Employer is liable.
      Employee drives like a maniac on route to a customer call and hits another car? Employer liable.
      Employee puts poison in a customer’s drink purchased at the place of work because the employee has an ongoing feud with that customer? :Employer liable.
      Employee at a teambuilding softball game accidentally throws a wild softball that hits a bystander and kills that bystander? Probably employer liable because it’s a teambuilding game and not a leisure activity.
      And so on.

      In short, the scope of work is pretty much nearly anything that has some connection to the job.

      Therefore, under respondeat superior, a city would be liable for the conduct of its police for broadly described law enforcement activities, including something like unlawful use of force or corruption. (Please note that sovereign immunity also affects liability as police are agents of the state and cities are essentially state-formed corporations–but that’s a story for another time.)

      To change that rule only for the police, that creates several issues. First, equal protection. Treating one set of individuals different from the rest when they are unpopular (I think police fit this description at the moment) requires the government to articulate some specific reason for believing this treatment will at least partially ameliorate the issue. Given that the rank and file don’t have disciplinary powers over their colleagues, the best the government can argue is some kind of extra-legal, extra-official shunning will affect bad cops.

      Second, due process. Due process demands individualized justice and taking from the pension appears to be collective punishment.

      Third, and I’m not sure how I’d frame this doctrinally it this morning (just waking up), fundamental notions of justice are violated. Respondeat superior makes sense because in general terms the employer benefits from and has control over the employee. The rank and file officer cannot exercise similar control over colleagues by disciplining or firing them.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      The money for lawsuit payoffs or preemptive “settlements” is always found somewhere, and never seems to “hurt” the payer as much as it “ought to.”

      In the chauvin case, the chief of police took the stand against one of his own officers. He must have been grateful to have dodged a bullet , since chauvin’s out-of-control behavior was pretty much a direct indictment of his piss poor department management.

      Can you imagine how different things would be today if, after just one of chauvin’s sixteen previous brutality incidents, the chief would have just fired his ass. The union would have “sued” on chauvin’s behalf, and the court would probably have found he should be reinstated because the “contract.” Oh, and george floyd would be alive, or at least not dead by cop knee.

      At this point, a set of brass balls, or balls of any kind, is required. The chief loudly and simply refuses to reinstate a public menace on the force sworn to “protect and serve,” and dares someone to jail or fire him for it. The “conversation” changes immediately and irrevocably. I would assume that the support from all the “good cops” on the force would be overwhelming, since they don’t have to stick their necks out doing the job the chief and the mayor are supposed to do.

      As long as money, wherever it comes from, and the union “contract” are allowed to substitute for balls, things will not change, and anyone who hides behind them doesn’t really want them to.

    5. Darthbobber

      What you’re missing, among other things, is the lack of a good legal basis to make the unions liable for this.

  5. Zzzz Andrew

    How strange to see images of Table Mountain, after which the constellation Mensa, originally Mons Mensae, is named, from the eye of Copernicus in space.

  6. David

    Lambert – my experience with Zoom is institutional, so this may not entirely hold good for private use.
    However, recordings made during Zoom sessions are stored on the server for a limited period of time that you choose. This can be as little as one day. After processing, the convenor of the meeting receives a notification that the recording is ready, after which they can either download it, share it in some other fashion, and then delete it on the server, or send a link to others saying that the recording is now available, and for how long. There’s a sharing menu which enables you to set a password, and which also enables you to grant downloading (as opposed to just viewing) rights for the period when the recording is available. If you choose that option, the recording is deleted automatically at the end of the stipulated period, or otherwise at any time you decide to delete it yourself.

    1. smashsc

      With Webex, (if recording of the meeting is enabled), gives an option of recording to local disk or a dedicated Webex online location. Both contain chat information. If you choose to convert the recording to a generic .mp4, you can choose whether to include the chat information in that export.

      1. David

        Sorry, should have added that Zoom doesn’t normally record chats made during the sessions. You need (I think) someone with privileges to do that.

        1. vlade

          Yes, unless someone explicitly said (=switched it on) that the call should be recorded, it isn’t.

          1. Darius

            In Zoom, the host needs to set the session to be recorded. If the host hasn’t done that, it isn’t recorded.

        2. diptherio

          My experience is that if you record a session on the cloud or locally (we have a “Pro Account” fwiw) they do indeed save the chat as well. Generally, a recorded session will create three files: video, audio only, and chat (if and only if it was used). Also, after hosting a Zoom call, upon closing Zoom automatically downloads the chat to my local computer and stores it in the …documents/Zoom folder. This is true even for sessions that are not recorded.

          1. David

            You’re right. I just went to check, and, at least for my institutional account, each recorded session on my hard drive has a chat.txt file. I wasn’t aware I’d ever enabled that, so I suspect it may have been switched on my some admin person. It’s worth checking, especially for personal accounts, where the arrangements may be different. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Zoom technology changes (I wouldn’t say advances) all the time, and every time I use it, it seems to have a slightly different interface. So reference documents (especially third-party ones) are very quickly out of date.

    2. campbeln

      Per the Zoom doco…

      The account owner or admins can choose how long chat messages are stored in the Zoom cloud and on local devices. This will delete all messages after the designated time frame. If messages are being stored for 1 month or less, a yellow banner will appear in your Zoom chat window, notifying the members of your account of how long messages will be stored.

      Based on my industry experience… these will be in database tables somewhere likely beyond the retention periods if their data analytics guys have anything to say about it. If the service is “Free”, you’re the product so those chats are all part of the “value” of the company.

    3. Yves Smith

      This isn’t the question.

      It is not the main recording. It is the chats on the side. I did not ask about the main record.

      Are the chats retained if the main recording is retained?

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘Very proud of Mayur Shelke, Railwayman from the Vangani Railway Station in Mumbai who has done an exceptionally courageous act, risked his own life & saved a child’s life.’

    Saw this yesterday and that was one gutsy performance by Mayur Shelke. The Ministry of Railways has already announced a 50,000 rupee reward and Jawa Motorcycles is gifting him a motorcycle for his bravery. It should be mentioned that the boy’s mother is visually impaired and so could not help much when her son fell over the edge-

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > ‘Very proud of Mayur Shelke, Railwayman from the Vangani Railway Station in Mumbai who has done an exceptionally courageous act, risked his own life & saved a child’s life.’

      I had meant to add a note saying that in the midst of the mayhem of the news flow, we almost always miss acts of heroism that are constantly performed by ordinary, “nameless” people. It’s almost as if the owners of our famously free press want us to take a particular view of human nature.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Can’t help much but to say that a major prison in Queensland, Australia uses Webex to allow ‘virtual visits’ between prisoners and their families. This being so, you would expect that recordings are done for these sessions for later review of any infractions. Yeah, I know that this is speculation but Webex has not been mentioned yet.

      1. ambrit

        That would be a safe assumption. In the testimony to the Grand Jury Monday, several officers mentioned information gleaned from copies of telephone calls between defendants inside jail and associates outside.
        The bottom line is that the “Authorities” listen in on everything you do electronically.
        For Zoom records, would a FOIA demand from the NSA work?

        1. The Rev Kev

          The No Such Agency is more likely to hand over their own copies of Hillary’s undeleted emails first. :)

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      A bit more info that may be helpful.

      Although Yves question seems pretty narrowly focused on chats and where those may be stored, there may be some good info in that link. There was a big kerfuffle about Zoom security last year and they were exposed as having been very lax both in their policies (they allowed re-selling of user data to third party marketers in their privacy policy) and practice (weak encryption, lack of security controls in the cloud to prevent unauthorized access to recordings/chats.)

      Zoom bought a security firm called Keybase shortly after the embarrassment of being outed as weak on security. That company provides (or claims to provide) end-to-end encryption of messaging including chats, so I would presume that as long as you’re running the latest version of Zoom you’re chats should be encrypted. However, as far as storing those chats, I have no idea where they are stored. Most likely in the cloud and encrypted, but a Zoom mole would need to confirm that.

    3. Maritimer

      “Hey, Godfather, I’ve arranged to use ZOOM for all our meetings. No Covid problems.”
      “Great, Angelo, I got a coupla whacks I wanna talk to the boys about. And then there’s those buyouts we wuz talking about…”

  8. cocomaan

    2% Is The New 10%

    Appreciated this article. Like Heisenberg I’ve read about all the fundamentals that are being breached. Seen all the charts about how if you look at P/E the market doesn’t make any sense, or if you look at American wages, how can housing be so overpriced, the purchasing power of the dollar is falling, “hidden inflation” in plywood or 2x4s and so on.

    It’s all true. Does it matter? Not sure it does.

    The upshot is that the Fed, the Treasury, the billionaire class and the public sector are aligned to protect asset holders. The full employment mandate is a joke. Never seen it happen for more than a year or two in my lifetime.

    If you don’t hold any assets (ie, many if not most Americans, and certainly an underclass at work anyway), these powerful people don’t give a damn about whether you live or die. You do not matter to the economy. You are a non-entity and they’re not going to help you with anything.

    Should it be that way? No of course not. But if you’re poor, you get to eat s— and then die.

    That’s my investment hot take of the week! Tune in tomorrow for my next take, “How nobody cares if you have to eat cat food.”

    1. Mikel

      A lot of people investing that aren’t financial insiders are going to find out they aren’t as protected by the Fed as is being constantly adverised.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    The Corruption Behind America’s Highway System, Explained Jalopnik

    An excellent and succinct little article. Its worth reminding ourselves that car dominated life didn’t come about by accident or by consumer preference. It was specifically designed that way, mostly be corporate interests (aided also by over-ambitious city engineers). Military planners also of course had their hand on a desire to create cross-country highways in many countries. It is noticeable that those countries (in Europe anyway) with the least car oriented policies tend to be those without a large automobile industry.

    1. John Zelnicker

      April 21, 2021 at 8:50 am

      I wrote a paper on John D. Rockefeller in high school and while researching his life, I discovered that there was some kind of agreement between him and Henry Ford to work towards making the automobile the favored mode of transportation.

      As a side note, Rockefeller was the wealthiest American in our history. In 1913 his net worth was about $900 million and almost 3% of US GDP, equal to $418 billion today (2019 $’s).

    2. miningcityguy

      It was an excellent article. I was among those who believed that Eisenhower advocated for the Interstate Highway System because of his admiration of the Autobahn in Germany. So now I know different

  10. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Good take IMO from a Chelsea fan on the economics of the now it seems dead parrot of a super league.

    The 12 were losing money prior to Covid at about 1.2 bn, rising to around 2 bn due to Covid, with the overall debt for the clubs being 7.4 bn.

    The choice appears to be based solely on revenue as in terms of performance Tottenham & Arsenal should not be included.

    I doubt most of the equivalent people who attended soccer matches back when for a time I did as a kid during the pre-gentrification rough & ready mid 70’s, could afford the ticket prices these days.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I haven’t read about this in great detail, and I’m not much of a soccer fan so I’m wondering if this attempt to form a super league is similar to what US college sports conferences have done in recent years. College teams were organized into conferences based mostly on geographical location – the Big East contained teams from the northeastern US for example. Then the colleges decided that geography wasn’t nearly as important as big money and TV contracts so some of the better teams starting jumping conferences so they could play against other teams with more money at stake. Now the SEC tends to dominate college football, with all the colleges with big-time big-money programs gravitating there.

      Was this an attempt for soccer teams to do something similar- group all the big-time teams in one league where all the money would be while hanging the rest out to dry?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        That’s it in a nutshell. US sports owners (and three of the clubs involved are owned by US interests) don’t get this whole competition thing where even the biggest team can get relegated, they want a cozy oligopoly like in the US. Its a mixture of trying to monopolize TV money and making sure there is no financial downside to having a badly run team.

        1. Petter

          Adding to PK’s point on relegation (and promotion) think of MLB. Imagine that there were 20 teams in the Major League and that each year the three worst teams got relegated to AAA and the three top AAA teams got promoted to the Major League and so on down through AA, A, and umm…Legion ball?
          In the Super League there would be no relegation or promotion into the league. A closed shop.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw AP

    Absolute Scenes As Rowdy British Lads Have tossed The Super League Into The Rubbish Bin Defector

    Its been a truly glorious sight to see the owners of the Super League clubs fall flat on their faces. When even the club managers like Jurgen Klopp stated their opposition it was clearly going to fail, but I don’t think anyone thought it would be this fast.

    Well done to the German clubs (and, surprisingly, PSG), for having stayed well away from this. When even a Russian Oligarch like Abramovich thinks you are being too greedy, you do need a little self reflection.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      American Oligarchs are a different breed and not particularly bright. When MLB formed, many of the competing teams were barnstorming teams and had non white players. There is one of those Virginia historical markers a block away from my parent’s house where i grew up describing a non white barnstorming American football team. Those teams also lived and died with the players.

    2. Basil Pesto

      I’m glad it didn’t go ahead of course. It can’t all be blamed on oligarchs of the American variety. as Perez at Real Madrid and Agnelli at Juventus were apparently the major drivers behind it. It’s interesting the German clubs weren’t involved – Dortmund I’m not surprised, but in following these types of stories over the years I know the Bayern brains trust were strongly pushing this concept over time.

      Still, I have to say, much about the reaction to this leaves me cold.

      Of all the things, replacing one fabulous football competition with a slightly more fabulous albeit closed-shop competition is what makes the football fans of England discover political economy, and mobilise against the iniquities of money and power in the world? And it’s a European Super League, of all things, which gives Boris “Boris” Johnson and the tories the high ground on matters of market competition?

      Okay, from the fans that could be fine, but to do so without any apparent self-consciousness or self-awareness? The reason there’s so much money bouncing around the industry is because we, the fans, are basically oblivious fools unable to see consequences beyond the next season’s title prospects. As I said the other day, the fans of FC United of Manchester have some credit, here, and not many others. In fact, as you and I were chatting about the other day, the Newcastle FC fans groups wholeheartedly welcome the prospect of some KSA consortium buying their club. From Manchester City and Chelsea fans in particular, given where the largesse comes from and at what human cost, it’s un peu trop. The power hierarchies at play in the major European leagues are already very solidly in place and have been for years, decades or more – and it’s only now that everyone’s had a ‘come to jesus’ moment about the state of things? Something about it rings hollow.

      Then, there are other issues surrounding football. For instance I’m sure there were many articles in The Athletic about how Bad the ESL proposal was, with no reckoning by those writers with the same anti-competitive forces driving their own publication.

      But, most annoying of all to me, is the Qatar World Cup issue. Nevermind the corruption of the bid in the first place; we know that thousands of modern slaves predominantly from south Asia have died to build the stadiums in Qatar. We’ve known this for years. This should have had football fans mobilising in the streets in the same way. At the very least, players, media, and fan groups should have been announcing boycotts some time ago (to their enormous credit, Norway is apparently giving some serious consideration to boycotting, and the other Scandinavian countries are now too – Germany wore a wishy-washy ~human rights~ t-shirt the other day which tended to obscure rather than focus the issue in my opinion). Perhaps this is all so much whatabouttery on my part, but if you want an example of greed and soft power combining to have an actual cost in human lives, there it is, but any surely justifiable outrage is limited to the occasional (usually very good) guardian piece, with no consequences from anyone (and no suggestion from the graun that they themselves will boycott the World Cup).

      So are this week’s developments a stirring moment of inspiring football populism from long-suffering fans in action, or groups of spoilt brats who wants things just so, with limits to the kinds of questions about greed, money and ethics that they’re willing to ask? Probably a bit of both, I suppose.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Of all the things, replacing one fabulous football competition with a slightly more fabulous albeit closed-shop competition is what makes the football fans of England discover political economy, and mobilise against the iniquities of money and power in the world?

        That was my reaction. “Now do capitalism.”

  12. t

    I am unclear when this entirely unrealistic model of outdoor masking became the stand-in – a single person walking along who may at other times pass a single person and neither of then ever needing to put on a mask to go inside. I guess when New Yorkers started getting vaccines?

    Always the line about effectively no chance of being infected by one person passing by as you walk with never a word about teenagers who go out in groups, crowds, or everyone being in a crush waiting to cross the street, huddled under a bus shelter during a drizzle, and certainly not a word about how to wear a mask properly which includes making sure the inside and the outside dont touch, like if you shoved it in you pocket every time you wlked out of a shop, and then just uncrumpled it when you went in somewhere.

    1. CuriosityConcern

      Watch a smoker out of doors if you get the chance, breath disipates very quickly. I would concede risk goes up the denser the crowd, but crowds dissipate heat which then causes air to rise which then causes other air to exchange(not necessarily better air…)
      I wouldn’t say your chances are zero, but I believe they are much much lower outdoors than indoors, decreasing risk with increasing wind, decreasing risk with increasing uv.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Australia must act to prevent airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2”

    What should have been mentioned in that article was that medical team that went into a flat about a year ago (in China?) and found traces of this virus on the ventilators built into the room. The logical conclusion was that either the people that were living there were either licking the ventilators or else the virus was airborne. This article also mentions outbreaks in Oz in quarantine hotels. One, which caused a bit of panic at the time, turned out to be very revealing. People in one room on the same floor as infected people in another room became infected themselves.

    It took a long while to put it all together – and reviewing a lot of security camera footage – but what happened was that the door of the infected room was opened up so that the people could be tested at the door. Enough virus was blown out into the hall so that when the door opened up in the other room, one person got infected by those airborne particles. A lot of procedures were changed because of this but I was shocked to learn that the staff on those floors were only using surgical masks rather than n95 masks. Seriously? I think that this has been changed but what the hell were those medicos thinking? Chinese medical teams were filmed a year ago going in with full body suits in such situations.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Ally with Vietnam Noah Smith, Noahpinion.

    As so often, Smith is vaguely correct, but for all the wrong reasons.

    Vietnam has actually been trying to formalize good relations with the US for many years, but has constantly been rebuffed. Now that belatedly the US realises that it might actually be a good idea, its largely too late, Vietnam has signed pretty firm trade agreements with the EU and other Asian countries and has maintained its good relations with Russia. While Smith is correct to say that the Vietnamese bear no grudge whatever to the US for incinerating most of its country (amazingly so), he is wrong to say that the Vietnamese have a high regard for the US – in reality, the US has slipped down the pecking order relative to Europe, Canada, Australia and other Asian countries. These are now the main countries where Vietnamese go to study and try to forge the sort of family connections that serve so much ground level up business. Vietnam will of course happily maintain good relations with the US, but only as a necessary counterweight to China. It makes sense for Vietnam to be close enough to the US to make China think twice about pushing too hard on its border claims in the South China Sea or along the land border.

    Smith is also of course completely wrong in his belief that somehow more trade with the US will somehow make Vietnam follow South Korea and Taiwan from authoritarianism to democracy. If anything, South Korea and Taiwan did it despite, not because of US connections (yes, its complicated, you can argue this both ways). But the Vietnamese communist party has a very firm grip on the country. It may regard China as an age old adversary and rival, but it looks with admiration at how the CCP have maintained a firm grip on the country as its gone from relative poverty to relative wealth. That’s the model they will follow and only a catastrophe or some black swan event will change that.


    1. lambert strether

      > Vietnam will of course happily maintain good relations with the US, but only as a necessary counterweight to China

      That is the endpoint to seek, not some insane military alliance. But for counterweight, there needs to be weight….

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Well, that’s the interesting question, as to what the US would bring to a deal (apart from being a big market for all the stuff Vietnam is now churning out of factories). They certainly won’t get a base, but its possible that Vietnam would want to get invited to off-the-record meetings involving Taiwan/South Korea/Japan etc. Its certainly not in Vietnams interest to see Taiwan fall to China.

        Vietnam is also seeking to upgrade its military – its been trying to buy the latest Russian submarines (it has some Kilo-class ones, but so does China) which is the only way they can make the Chinese think twice about entering disputed waters with impunity. But I think the Chinese are leaning very heavily on Russia not to give them the most up to date tech. But the US doesn’t have any non-nuclear ones it can offer, the Europeans lead with non-nuclear littoral subs. It may be that what the US could offer is access to more intelligence and satellite monitoring.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > what the US would bring to a deal

          Today? Vaccines. We have 300 million doses of AZ in storage. Populations:

          Vietnam: 96 million
          Thailand: 69 million
          Cambodia: 16 million
          Laos: 7 million
          Myanmar: 54 million

          TOTAL 242 million

          So if the United States wanted, for once, to do the right thing by Southeast Asia, and engage in some realpolitik that didn’t involve the threat of lethal weaponry, giving those vaccines away would be one way to do it. And we’d have plenty left over!

          And of course, China could only compete by making a similar offer (or with propaganda, but given the quality of Chinese goods, probably not).

    2. The Rev Kev

      I’ve just read the same article and it struck me as delusional in so many parts whereas your analysis struck me as more closely related to reality. The sort of “help” that Washington wants to offer the Vietnamese economy and military is exactly the last sort of help that Vietnam needs. I doubt that Vietnam would seek aid from a country like France (as Macron hews to Washington’s line) though I have read that they are increasing ties with Russia as a hedge against China.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The Vietnamese actually have a bit of a soft spot for the French, and vice versa. I guess when you’ve had to deal with the Japanese, US, and China as an enemy, your long ago colonial master starts to look kinda good. Plus they are eternally grateful to the French for the baguette and even pho (which allegedly comes from the French ‘pot de fer‘. The French are really good at using cultural soft power as a way to inch into countries favour – they’ve spent a lot over the years in supporting Vietnamese film makers and artists.

        The Vietnamese have always favored Russian weaponry for obvious reasons but so far as I know the Chinese have been doing their best to stymie arms sales, especially with the most up to date Kilo Class submarines the Vietnamese covet so much (they have half a dozen of them, but so far as I know they didn’t come with the latest tech). Ultimately, China is a bigger market than Vietnam, even if the Russians are serially p*ssed at how the Chinese keep ripping off their technology. So it wouldn’t surprise me if the Vietnamese made a point at trying to broaden out their supplies – given their history it must occur to them that a future Chinese Russian close alliance may include as a condition Russia not selling certain goods to countries the Chinese consider potential enemies. During the American War their supplies of arms were threatened more than once due to wrangling between the Soviets and the Chinese over who and what would be supplied.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            This is a few years out of date (2016), but it does seem that Vietnam is very serious about buying European fighter jets. As the article notes, choosing a source of modern fighters is no small thing – it essentially ties you into a multi-billion dollar relationship for decades.

            The Eurofighter and Rafale are the only aircraft on the market that are good enough and that could be bought without the permission or interference of Russia, China, or the US. All others (including the Korean jets) need licences for their engines or other key parts. Given that they’ve always had Russian jets I think the assumption you can make from this is that they calculate that the Europeans are the only market/allies that they can rely on long term in business terms. I do wonder what is behind the calculation that they can’t in the long term rely on the Russians (if this is the case). Probably, I would guess, a concern that the Chinese could lean on the Russians to cut off weapon supplies, as they’ve done at various times in the past.

            I’ve always maintained that the best way of seeing what a countries insiders really think the future holds by looking at what they are doing with their military budgets. To me, Vietnam’s strongly suggests that it doesn’t want to be dependent on any of the traditional big three either for trade or defence. I think thats quite sensible of them.

    3. David

      Ah, I must admit I scrolled straight past Smith’s article without clicking on it, for exactly the reasons you give. Having now read it, I suppose, yes, there’s a decent idea in it trying to get out.

      The whole Vietnam-US relationship has been interesting to watch develop. When I was first there twenty-five years ago, I was struck by the fact that the Vietnamese had been much quicker to forgive the Americans than the Americans had been to forgive the Vietnamese. Younger people, especially, had no great hang-ups about the war. The Vietnamese even made a few political gestures: the Museum of American Atrocities in Saigon, for example (quite an eye-opener), was renamed something like the Museum of the Unfortunate Misunderstanding. Yet even twenty years ago, I remember looking through the shelves of books in a Borders in Washington for books about Vietnam, and finding that they were practically all about how the US had suffered at the hands of the Vietnamese during the war. I haven’t kept up with the historiography, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s the same now.

      As you say, I’m sure that the Vietnamese are interested in a closer relationship with the US as a counter-balance to China. But by the same token they have no desire to be the meat in the sandwich, and the proximate cause of a conflict between the two bigger powers. Like many smallish countries before them, they’ll play both sides against the middle.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Like many smallish countries before them, they’ll play both sides against the middle.

        As well they should, and have been doing for thousands of years. So let’s help them do what they are good at, instead of clumping around in our Army boots and camo (and with the Navy — and its railguns? — safely over the horizon).

    4. Darthbobber

      He seems to have an odd idea of what alliances actually get based on. And it isn’t having similar public responses to various Pew Research polling questions.

      China is already a huge trading partner for many of the nations in the putative alliance, and for whatever threats Vietnam or others may see from China, it at least has reasonable stable policy and the threats are predictable. We, on the other hand, have become something of a loose cannon. An close alliance with the United States may seem useful at first look, but potential partners are probably wary by now of our propensity to pursue maximal confrontation without really being prepared (and possibly not able) to offer real protection against blowback that heads their way as a result. We love to arrange matters so that our junior partnered bear most of the risk while having little influence on the “alliance” policies that generate that risk.

  15. Tibbett

    A typo at Teen Vogue made me do a double take: “On Monday, while closing arguments proceeded, students at over 100 Minnesota schools walked out in solidarity against racial justice, a HuffPost editor reported.”

  16. A.

    It’s not clear why Lambert decided to be so acidic in commenting to the thoughtful WaPo piece about an even more thoughtful study (I guess I’m grateful, because his comment implied a lack of insight into what is being discussed, which made me check the story out).

    If you think “eligibility criteria” are the marker of added complexity in COVID-19 response, rather than the much more clear fact that most of the world have decided to respond to it using what appears to be unbounded trillions of dollars of *additive* stimulus and *additive* high-tech, unproven vaccines placing an *additive* burden of logistics and organization involved in vaccinating a population *while the pandemic still is going on*, rather than the *subtractive* approach of hard lockdowns that leverage natural mechanisms and are proven to work for the few countries that took the idea seriously and did them properly, then perhaps you are rather far-placed from having an understanding of what the article is discussing.

    If the study deserves scorn, it is only because it is a study of the obvious. The reality is that the pandemic can still be brought to an end, in 2021 as well as 2020, using the same approaches that worked for China, NZ, Vietnam etc. That it is no longer in discussion, that there’s a resignation over it being endemic and managed by vaccines and booster shoots, should tell you all about the human predilection for additive response. Or if that’s too generalized, maybe you’ll consider the idea the next time you take your pills, and wonder how many of them are even necessary.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > It’s not clear why Lambert decided to be so acidic

      I thought it was perfectly clear, but you do you. (My claims that “If this were true for all “humans,” then workers would never become more productive at their tasks over time” may be wrong — it goes unchallenged in this comment — but it is certainly clear.)

      As for “if you think ‘eligibility criteria” are the marker of added complexity in COVID-19 response”–

      Those who have been reading NC for some time know that “complex eligibility requirements” is my shorthand critique for liberal Democrat program design as exemplified by ObamaCare, which reflects a distaste for universal programs (evident in the discussion of income limits in the American Rescue Plan and college debt relief), as well as a “Lady Bountiful”-type arrogation of the role of separating the worthy from the unworthy.

      Had I meant this link to apply to Covid programs, I would have said so (and filed it under that category). In fact, one of the more interesting aspects of the vaccination program is how much it resembles Medicare for All, as a story I link to in Water Cooler today points out.

      1. VietnamVet

        This is what gets my head pounding against the wall. Coronavirus vaccines in a for-profit healthcare system will not, cannot, eradicate coronavirus. The only way to control the pandemic is to do everything; test, trace, quarantine, mask, social distance and personal hygiene. The only way prevent many more infections, deaths, and long COVID sufferers is Medicare/Public Health for All. The PR Campaign, the gaslighting, is to prevent the loss of half the 17.7% GDP that is transferred to the Rentier and Managerial Classes in the current system. “Profits over lives”.

  17. Fireship

    Morris Berman on Chauvin:

    Happily, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and may well spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars. However, as we all know, this will not make any difference for the violent system of policing that obtains in this country, esp. with respect to white cops and black victims. There will be more Derek Chauvins.

    It’s interesting that Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 3 minutes after he had ceased struggling, and had gone unconscious. Why in the world wd he do that? I’m led to believe that the American police and military, far more than the average citizen, have enormous amounts of violence and rage bottled up inside them. As a result, when given the opportunity to unleash that poison, they do it vindictively. And of course this extends to our national proclivity for war, and how we treat our enemies. Were cluster bombs really necessary in Vietnam? Was Agent Orange? The US is spiritually empty; it stands for nothing, both on a national and an individual level. Knowing that on some dull, unconscious part of our minds, we go into a frenzy of hatred against the Other–people of color especially. There is something primal, primitive, and deeply evil about all this (consider what we did to Native Americans, how vicious our war against them was). It’s a cruelty that is embedded in the marrow of our bones.

    1. MK

      Maybe your bones – not mine. I’ve never brought violence against anyone and I can’t imagine that just because there are evil people out there I am responsible for their actions. They are responsible for their actions.

      Personal responsibility is what’s gone missing, and it doesn’t seem to be coming back anytime soon.

    2. diptherio

      Berman, and everybody else, needs to read the Knock LA series on deputy gangs that Lambert featured in Water Cooler yesterday. Why would he keep on top of Floyd after he’d gone unconscious? Simple, because he was trying to kill him. Why was he trying to kill him? Perhaps to earn his ink in a police gang. Sound far-fetched? Read the Knock LA series. It makes a lot of these “senseless” deaths at the hands of police make a lot more sense…and not in a good way.

      1. fresno dan

        April 21, 2021 at 11:02 am

        Years ago, I read a bunch of Joseph Wambaugh. It wasn’t The Onion Field, but in one of his fiction books, a cop performs CPR, not to save the person, but to squeeze all the blood out of the person supposedly being resuscitated so that they will die, while making it look like he (the cop) was attempting a life saving action.
        Chauvin was not restraining to take into custody – the intent was from the get go to kill Floyd.
        Again, if Chauvin had not been so brazen, and and had had an ounce of humanity, it would have been an arrest not noted by anyone at all. I watched some of Maddow just because…well, I wanted to gloat in a win. But Maddow did have a good point – if how Floyd was handled hadn’t been recorded by bystanders, the police report would have been that DESPITE AID rendered by police, and paramedics summoned by police, a person apprehended by police, THROUGH no action by police, died of natural and drug causes. – no gunshot, no beating, no nothing…That would have been the outcome, not disputed or investigated by anyone…

    3. HotFlash

      I think we should be drug-testing cops for substances known to increase aggressive behaviour, such as steroids. I do not believe that cops are routinely and randomly tested anywhere in Canada or US, can’t speak to other countries, and even drug tests after officer-involved crashes or shootings seem rare.

  18. pjay

    -‘Depressed Police Officer Reminds Self That Chauvin Verdict Not Representative Of System At Large’ – The Onion

    – ‘George W. Bush said he’s troubled by ‘the capacity of people to spread all kind of untruth’ – Insider.

    It is stunning how often these days that headlines in The Onion sound real and real headlines sound like The Onion.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      To be fair to Shrub, the rumor was his staff and congressional republicans tried to be the last guy in the room with him because W’s position would always be the last one he heard. I’ll always remember how proud Condi was when he could name the “Big EU 3”.

      1. Arizona Slim

        ISTR reading that Gerhard Schröder’s press secretary said that dealing with the Bush administration was quite the challenge. Why? Because of, shall we say, GWB’s lack of intellectual horsepower.

        The Germans had to be careful to explain things very slowly and carefully.

      2. km

        “To be fair to Shrub, the rumor was his staff and congressional republicans tried to be the last guy in the room with him because W’s position would always be the last one he heard.”

        I have heard the same about one Donald J. Trump, president.

        1. ddt

          Yet W won 2 terms and Donald woulda won another if it weren’t for coronavirus…

          That takes some level of intelligence. After Schroeder, where’s Germany’s SPD party been all these years?

    2. Mel

      It was officials in Dubya’s own administration who were bragging about how they could invent bullshit faster than their “reality-based” opposition could prove it was bullshit. So now Dubya is troubled about people spreading all kinds of untruth.
      Dubya Trubya. My oh my.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Absolute Scenes As Rowdy British Lads Have Tossed The Super League Into The Rubbish Bin”

    I think that the guys next to a big homemade sign saying ‘Fans Not Customers’ really nailed it. And for J P Morgan, they weren’t really Clubs that they were dealing with but ‘Clients’. I would go further and guess that they were using projections about how much revenue they would receive from these fans who would of course switch to the Super League and did not stop to consider for a moment that these very same fans had agency of their own and weren’t just a bunch of NPCs. This should by rights end with a bunch of executives sitting outside J P Morgans New York headquarters with all their possessions in cardboard boxes.

  20. curlydan

    I got Pfizer jab #2 Monday afternoon. This morning I wake up and blow my nose and see blood mixed in with my mucus although no blood on my pillow or anywhere else. Since I have below normal platelet counts (but not in the danger zone), nose bleeding is always a small concern like “I wonder if my platelet counts are falling”. I decide I’ll report this on the VAERS vaccine response system since platelets have been an issue with at least J&J. It’s a 5 page form. I’m doing a decent job filling it out and get to the end of the form. Hit submit. Nothing happens. “Submit” is kind of grayed out. Look through the form thoroughly to see where I might have missed something. I see nothing. In the end, I give up. I can’t submit this stupid form, and it won’t tell me where I’m missing something.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who has tried this and failed.

    Sigh. Underreporting possible issues.

    1. Thomas Connors

      Sounds like VAERS is working as intended.
      They really don’t want any record of problems.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks for the report. Heaven forfend that anyone have a bad reaction, but if anyone does… it would public-spirited try reporting it through VAERS, and then report here.

  21. Mildred Montana

    File under Social Intelligence (or the lack thereof):

    Could people being interviewed on TV or radio please stop prefacing their comments with the word “Look” as in, “Look…the government is…..”? I realize it is probably a rhetorical device to allow them time to gather their thoughts, but to my mind it is rude.

    These interviewees are ostensibly educated, cultured people. Shouldn’t their (ostensible) social intelligence tell them that to watchers or listeners like me it seems a small step from “Look…” to “Look, you idiot…”.

    I’ve pointed out the use of this all-too-common trope to several friends and they’re noticing it too. In fact, when we’re having a discussion now one of us will start his or her opinion with the word “Look…” and we all have a good laugh.

    Perhaps the network heads will begin to notice also and put an end to this offensive rhetorical habit.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Look” is just one way they mark their intellectual territory and create authority in themselves, like an unfixed cat. The tic precedes Moses, if the Bible is good evidence.

    1. Jason

      I’m bothered even more by people who say “right” after practically every sentence they utter. This has become more and more prevalent the past few years.

        1. wilroncanada

          barefoot charley
          It’s equivalent to my father’s south Quebec French patois: “I’m going down to the beer parlour, me.”

        2. Late Introvert

          Don’t forget the ones – usually some semi-journalist – who start with “I mean”.

    2. miningcityguy

      Maybe they could start saying ” Come on Man” like Joe Biden. Or ” Here’s the deal”

      1. wilroncanada

        My wife’s (irritating) preface, especially when talking to her high-anxiety sister is, “The thing is.” 30 or 40 times in a 5-minute phone call.

    3. Jeff W

      “I realize it is probably a rhetorical device to allow them time to gather their thoughts…”

      I don’t think it is. It’s a discourse marker used specifically in certain contexts. The Cambridge Dictionary notes that, as a discourse marker, look “is very strong. We use it when we are explaining something or making a point, especially when we are annoyed or speaking very forcefully.” (It’s my impression that Elizabeth Warren uses look as a discourse marker quite often.)

      1. Mildred Montana

        Thank you, I checked out your link. A quote from it:

        “…it [Look] needs to be used carefully as it is very strong..”

        And there’s the rub. I don’t think the talking heads on TV use it carefully. In fact they over-use it. They use it to imply a certainty they rarely can have.

        Too often, in the mouths of these people, “Look” sounds like the verbal equivalent of finger-wagging, and we all know how annoying it is to have a finger wagged in our faces.

        1. Jeff W

          You’re welcome.

          I guess the way I view it is if people are not going to stop using look in this way—and I doubt they will—at least we can have a better understanding of how they’re using it. (The whole area of discourse markers is pretty fascinating. Even linguists have a hard time pinning them down.)

  22. semiconscious

    re: Is It Time to Eliminate Outdoor Mask Mandates? NEJM Watch

    long past time, actually:

    “In early publication the WHO stated that ‘facemasks are not required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons’. In the same publication, the WHO declared that ‘cloth (e.g. cotton or gauze) masks are not recommended under any circumstance‘”.
    “…the WHO repeatedly announced that ‘at present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19) on the effectiveness face masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.’”

    1. Maritimer

      Thank you for posting that.

      “Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death.”

      In all the pro mask pieces I have read, I have never seen any of them address the concerns expressed above. Of particular concern to me is the long term damage done to children.

      Anecdotally, in my jurisdiction, I see people taking masks on and off, using them over and over which, as the experts say is contraindicated and can lead to illness.

      Hopefully, someone at some point will write a comprehensive report and analysis on the use of masks.

  23. marym

    “NEW: Republicans in 34 states have introduced legislation to crack down on protestors. They’d bar people from student loans & state aid, boost penalties for unlawful assembly and immunize drivers who strike protesters in the streets. w/

    From the linked NYT post:
    “… more than twice as many proposals as in any other year, according to Elly Page, a senior legal adviser at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, which tracks legislation limiting the right to protest.”

    Protest law tracker: (I don’t know anything about this org. The about page says they were founded in 1992 and has a lot of info.)

    1. GF

      Also in some of the proposed laws being put forth there are provisions to ban photographing/video making of any activity a law enforcement office might be engaged in.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “These are the faces of extremism in the military”

    Notice in all those names and ranks, that none appear that are from Special Forces? Considering all the scandals around the world involving these troops in Germany, America, Australia, etc. and how some Special Forces units had to be actually dissolved, that more mention should have been made when talking about extremism in the ranks.

  25. Mikel

    Re: “2% Is The New 10%” The Heisenberg Report

    Before reading for the umpteenth time how it’s ok to buy at whatever ridiculous price because the Fed/policymakers have your back, I recommend reading the article above it first:

    “Bernie Madoff Told the Truth About One Thing” New York Magazine

    “..The financial system’s attitude toward him was “willful blindness,” he said in one deposition….”

    “…The systems, financial and to some extent judicial, cast Madoff as a rogue operator, a lone bad apple in an otherwise forthright arrangement. We were all hoodwinked, was the going line. He was that good.

    Nonsense. The financial system enabled, weaponized, and profited handsomely from Madoff. Some hedge funds he did business with were nothing more than sales operations. They lured in clients with promises of due diligence and exclusive access. “I made them hundreds of millions,” Madoff said. It was true. And for doing what? Some simply took money from investors and handed it to him. For their trouble, they took a percentage off the top. They promised that they examined the details, but that simply wasn’t true…”

    And as a side note, there is an old scam called “The Baltimore Stockbroker”. Check it out.
    I always think about it when “advice” from financial blogs whipshaws around from day to day..or even in the same day.

  26. antidlc

    Dallas County will spend up to $30 million in federal coronavirus aid to pay for future vaccine efforts, including pop-up inoculation sites and walk-in clinics.

    Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Colorado-based American Medical Response Ambulance Service to lead the next chapter in the county’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The company will begin to take over the county health department’s vaccine hub at Fair Park as early as next week.

    Would that be the same American Medical Response described here?

    After 2008, a number of private equity firms moved to take over ambulance and air ambulance providers. Of the three air medical transport companies that have since captured 67 percent of the U.S. market, two are private equity–owned. American Medical Response, the largest provider of ground ambulance services in the U.S., was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Known as KKR, this firm also owns one of the largest air transport companies, Air Medical Group Holdings. Priority Ambulance, LLC, which operates 400 medical transport vehicles, is a portfolio company of Enhanced Equity Funds.

    Private equity involved in vaccine distribution? What is happening in your area?

    1. antidlc

      From the article:

      American Medical Response has previously helped local governments with vaccine sites throughout the country, including Arlington. The company helped the Arlington Fire Department with its vaccine site.

    2. Wellstone's Ghost

      City of Seattle coordinated both of mine with vaccinations done by Seattle Fire Department. I even received a reminder email in advance.
      Local pharmacies seem to be handling shots as well, but their scheduling calendar websites are useless.

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Number of US troops in Afghanistan could increase to help with drawdown efforts Stars and Stripes

    Preliminary plans had already been written for the May withdrawal, Kirby said. Those plans will now need to be updated and could possibly include logisticians and engineers as the U.S. needed when leaving Iraq in 2011, and security forces to protect withdrawing troops, he said.

    I’m guessing the required “update” to the “plans” for the May withdrawal include at least looking like they’re going to do it, now that they have a new commander-in-chief that they can’t openly defy with impunity.

    And the passive-aggressiveness of the “OK, we’ll leave, but FIRST we need to put MORE people in to ‘protect’ the ones that have been holding down the fort but you’re now forcing us to take out” is pretty much in your face.

    And ya gotta love the passive-aggressive pot sweetener that they can’t tell anybody what’s going on because the taliban might find out:

    He also said the Pentagon will be limited in how transparent it will be about day-to-day details regarding the drawdown due to the Taliban threats.

    jeezus h. christ, these war department people have so much pathology going on they deserve their own DSM. I’d bet money this “withdrawl” is never gonna happen.

  28. Mark Gisleson

    Joe Trippi
    Apr 20
    12/ I remember traveling with him to a meat packing plant & Frtz bellowing ‘Show me your hands!” My jaw dropped as plant worker after worker thrust a hand in the air with fingers missing lost on the job. I had no idea, but Fritz did. And that’s who he was fighting for…

    I burned out on a gubernatorial campaign in 1982 and frankly don’t remember much from 1984 but if I had heard this story, I would have remembered it. In the 1970s working at the Des Moines Firestone plant I was sitting at a crowded break table (heavy duty picnic tables). The pieceworker who was training me decided to emphasize the importance of working safely and told me I’d never sit at a full break table where everyone had all their fingers and toes. On cue a forklift driver waved at me with his left hand which still had half a little finger. He’d been holding on to the roll bar on the top of his forklift when a calendar roll fell on it.

    After that I always looked around when on break and never once failed to find someone missing at least part of a finger. I eventually injured myself but kept my right big toe despite having done my best to lose it.

    I was a Kennedy guy in ’80, and not a fan of Mondale’s. In ’82 I escorted my gubernatorial candidate to a labor dinner Mondale was speaking at. Beforehand she read me the riot act and told me that if Mondale offered me his hand to shake, I would #$%! shake his hand.

    If I’d known this story, I would have gladly shook his hand. In 1984 I caucused for Gary Hart. But it’s nice to know Mondale understood some of the truths most neoliberals have forgotten, if they ever knew them.

  29. Matthew G. Saroff

    The coverage of Mondale’s death really pisses me off.

    The WaPo obit only makes a vague reference to Mondale being the one who sponsored the fair housing act in the Senate..

    Mondale did a lot more than lose to Reagan in 1984.

  30. Expat2uruguay

    Number of US troops in Afghanistan could increase to help with drawdown efforts

    Where the headline like that, you would think the story was in the duffel blog instead of the Stars and Stripes.

  31. Sub-Boreal

    Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests WaPo.

    I’m a bit surprised that none of the commentaries that I’ve seen on this recent paper in Nature by Adams et al. have made the obvious connection between these observations and the work of Joseph Tainter on social complexity.

    Originally set out in his 1988 book, “The Collapse of Complex Societies”, he elaborated on his main thesis in many subsequent publications (e.g. ).

    His big idea is that societies acquire complexity as an inevitable result of problem-solving, and this eventually brings diminishing returns, potentially to the point of triggering social collapse and radical simplification. Of course, there are way more nuances and details in his work than one can do justice to in a 1-sentence summary!

    This new work, along with the many observations reported on this site of the PMC’s fatal attraction to complex problem-solving modes, suggest to me that Tainter was really on to something!

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s not a page turner in prose, the only downside to Tainter’s mighty effort in regards to complexity being the culprit in the downfall of societies, and frankly we are so primed in our everyday incredibly complex lives, pretty much including everybody in the developed world and much of the mysterious 2nd world and a fair amount of the 3rd world.

      …the meek having only the least powered lives will inherit the Earth

  32. Synoia

    Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests


    Incompetent Humans solve problems by adding complexity…to avoid looking incompetent.

    AKA: BS Baffles Brains.

      1. JBird4049

        Meh, this thinking that we are being dumber is too pessimistic. It could be true. We could be staying the same or getting less intelligent. Who knows? Becoming more efficient in using resources is probably the reason that our brains are changing. Of the roughly 2,200 calories used by a human body about 15-20%, say 300, is used by the brain. Then there is the large amount of oxygen and nutrients needed to function as well.

        Death by starvation has been a constant threat since before we were humans, more than disease or predators,it is just getting enough food. So, using birds and ancestors as examples, evolution has been pushing us to ever greater efficiency and good enough, not better, of anything. For example, our bones, which are basically that of our early modern humans, the Cro-Magnon, which in absolute terms was stronger than their Cro-Magnon neighbors. However the bones got their strength from being very dense while the good enough strength of their neighbors was created by structure instead of density. A Romanesque church compared to a Gothic church. Or think of a bird’s skeleton. It is in absolute terms much weaker than a humans, but by weight, probably much stronger

        Then there is being intelligent. Many birds especially crows and some parrots are very intelligent. Just how do birds become tool users, and perhaps communicate with people when their brains are so small? Scientists do not know. However they do it, a comparative primate’s brain would be larger.

        Our brains have lost the chimpanzee’s short term memory capabilities, but our brains got room for other abilities.

        So, I would guess doing more or the same with fewer resources is what is happening.

  33. ArvidMartensen

    Re Madoff. I could not understand how someone could knowingly wreak havoc on their own kin and friends until I had to do some research on psychopaths and sociopaths. Even though that actual diagnosis is not in the DSM-5, quite a bit of research has been done on it. eg

    These people care only for themselves, ever. They cultivate and charm partners and friends for reputation and financial gain. They are the most accomplished liars, and extremely hard to detect. Most medical professionals are just as open to being conned as the rest of us.

    In Madoff’s case he used the cover of reputation as a family man, to get access to the money of his social and family connections. But he never cared whether his friends, family and associates would be ruined, as long as he lived the high life.
    It has somewhat of a hereditary basis, often coupled with abuse and trauma in childhood, but not always. They are seriously scary people that generally wreak havoc in the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be in their orbit. They don’t have to be violent, and the most successful stay out of gaol. As Madoff did for almost his entire life.

  34. The Rev Kev

    “New Zealand says ‘uncomfortable’ with expanding Five Eyes”

    When I read this, I thought that it was about the move to have Japan join the Five Eyes. Apparently some Australian officials were unhappy that New Zealand was not willing to trash their economy by cutting economic ties to China and not toe the line. A headline in today’s newspaper says ‘Australia was blindsided when Five Eyes ally New Zealand backed away from China criticism’ but since when does New Zealand have to get the OK from us for what they do diplomatically?

  35. John Anthony La Pietra

    “Do What You Gotta Do”: Cop Shows Bolster Idea That Police Violence Works Truthout. From 2014, still germane.

    I got Wolf-proofed some years back when I realized that — no matter how many times I heard the mantra before the famous “clunk-clunk!” — it was still dead wrong:

    * The police don’t investigate all crimes — and not everything they do investigate is a crime.

    * Likewise, the district attorneys don’t prosecute all offenders — and not everyone they do prosecute is an offender.

    * And for that matter, not all of the people in what gets called the criminal justice system (with or without a hyphen in the appropriate place) would consider themselves properly represented by the police or the district attorneys — even if they’d consider those two groups as separate.

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