Links 10/6/2021

Yves here. You are getting an extra big heaping of Links to compensate for the fact that I am yet again behind the eight ball due to a series of elder-care issues plus the most useless MD visit I evah had to get input on my new hips progress going into reverse. All said MD did was be very late for the appt (which would not be well tolerated in NYC save for specialities that cater to women, since women’s time is not valuable, so merely being in the South is a tax on time). He didn’t even examine me. He simply stuck his hand into my pocket to extract cash.

The very big eagle that escaped from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh is back home The Verge (Paul R)

India: Trapped baby elephant rescued after falling into pit BBC

Hundreds of three-eyed ‘dinosaur shrimp’ emerge after Arizona monsoon Live Science

US man sues psychic who promised to remove ex-girlfriend’s ‘witch curse’ Agence France-Presse

Kilauea volcano’s eerie glow before sunrise New York Post (David L)

Climate change is a big problem for farmers in Hawaii The Counter (J-LS)

UN Report Warns of Global Water Crisis Amid Climate Change Associated Press

Under the Wire: How Fence Ecologists Are Helping Western Wildlife Undark

Remembering Steve Jobs, 10 Years Later Wired

When hope is a hindrance aeon

#COVID-19

Covid-19: Turkey records highest new cases since April Middle East Eye

India’s top court orders states to pay B22,700 compensation for each Covid death Bangkok Post (furzy)

Science/Medicine

Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study The Lancet. Pfizer funded. Pfizer said MONTHS ago that its vaccine was effective for as much as six months. They are finding ways to stick to that line.

Study reveals why some people get Covid toe condition BBC.

Seriously not good:

Paper: Rate and severity of suspected SARS-Cov-2 reinfection in a cohort of PCR-positive COVID-19 patients Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Note the time frame means this was pre-Delta. There have been concerns that Covid could be like Dengue fever, with subsequent infections worse than the first. GM adds:

There is probably some sampling bias here, i.e. the asymptomatic cases were not included. But this is what the breakdown has been since the beginning (this is not the first such study) — greater chance of being asymptomatic on reinfection, greater chance of it being more severe if symptomatic.

The first part has been and will continue to be spun as “see, nothing to worry about endemicity” but, of course, the reality is that the latter part is a gigantic problem. Because we are not talking about 99-1 asymptomatic-to-symptomatic on reinfection, we are talking 70-30 at best. And we plan to roll that dice many, many times…

The examples of what that mean are starting to show up. In Bulgaria, a 30-year old actress that had a bad case last year and died a few months ago on reinfection — it was the classic downwards health spiral that we have long talked about, i.e. first bad case leads to losing half your lung capacity and to significant heart, kidney, endothelial, etc. damage, and then you are just in no shape to survive the next one. There were prominent severe reinfection cases of similar nature in Brazil too.

But people are not paying attention and think that this will be the exception. Partly because the average person just lacks the capacity to think several decades ahead, but also because the scientific community and medical establishment are playing ball with the capitalist oligarchy on this and painting rosy pictures of mild endemicity, and people don’t have the knowledge base to understand what monstrous lies they are being told.

US

Francis Collins will step down as head of the National Institutes of Health New York Times (Kevin C)

Few Masks. Sick Kids. Packed ERs. How One District’s First Four Weeks of School Went Bad. ProPublica (resilc)

A New York healthcare worker who was just fired for refusing the COVID-19 shot says she wouldn’t get it even if God said ‘you must take this vaccine’ Business Insider

Finance/Economy

Airlines warn erratic global COVID-19 rules could delay recovery Reuters. This is plenty explicit. Airline profits are more important than lives and health.

China?

Beijing crackdown threatens to crush China’s love of London property Financial Times

5 things to know about China’s record surge of warplanes near Taiwan CNN v. US Hypes China’s Military Flights in Taiwan’s ADIZ Antiwar (resilc)

French senators arrive in Taiwan amid tensions with China Independent

Taiwan president warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if island falls to China Guardian. Resilc: ” “Battle of the chips.”

Why Japan will take a more China-friendly turn after its general election South China Morning Post

Old Blighty

UK military deployed to deliver fuel as supply crisis continues Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Chile is Taking the Final Steps of Dismantling Dictatorship Counterpunch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Why I’ve dumped my smartphone MarketWatch (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Google Is About To Turn On Two-Factor Authentication By Default For Millions of Users The Verge

Tom Friedman’s tribal tantrum Al Jazeera (resilc)

Biden fires intern in charge of Afghanistan Duffel Blog

Biden

In 1961, Germany needed workers and Turks answered the call DW. Resilc: “Why Biden’s infrastructure will be a dud if passed, no tradesmen.”

Manchin opens door to deal in range of $1.9T to $2.2T The Hill. Note I don’t see a quote from Manchin or a Manchin spokesperson saying anything of the kind, nor do I see a corresponding account in Politico, which does far more detailed insider baseball than The Hill. And even if Manchin gave some sort of handweve, it’s not yet clear this is a genuine move, as opposed to a feint to avoid being Sinema-d. He is still sticking to the Hyde Amendment, which he added as a requirement when the fight over #s started, as in upping his ask. He will insist on a big concession from the progs to drop that.

For Biden, failure is an option Asia Times

Democrats Must Raise the Debt Limit to a Quadrillion Dollars New York Magazine

Biden broaches nuclear option in standoff with McConnell Politico

But note: Senate Democrats float filibuster carveout for debt ceiling The Hill. Cowards. What is the point of governing if you aren’t willing to use your power?

The debt ceiling: A fight about nothing The Week (fk)

U.S. faces a recession if Congress doesn’t address the debt limit within 2 weeks, Yellen says CNBC

Party Favorable Ratings Near Parity; Both Viewed Negatively Gallup (resilc)

The Nation’s Largest Public Library System Is Ending Late Fees Forever NPR

Our Famously Free Press

How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press Mint Press

Democrats and Media Do Not Want to Weaken Facebook, Just Commandeer its Power to Censor Glenn Greenwald

RSS, West Bengal and Duplicate Accounts: What the Facebook Whistleblower Complaint Touches Upon The Wire (J-LS)

Telegram Founder Says Over 70 Million New Users Joined During Facebook Outage Reuters

Facebook went down for hours today, affecting Oculus headsets PC Gamer

Facebook outage is dry run for worse web crashes Reuters (resilc)

I Asked Experts Why Carmakers Can’t Just Transition To Newer Chips In Stock. Here’s What They Told Me Jalopnik

Life’s better together when you avoid Windows 11 Free Software Foundation (furzy)

Merck on deals hunt as patent cliff looms for top cancer drug Financial Times. Since coming to Alabama, I have learned that old people TV has many many ads for Keytruda.

Bay Area developer fraud: Public employee, teacher investments at risk East Bay Times (Bernard M)

Climate-Friendly Investment Funds Are a Scam New Republic

Pandora papers reveal South Dakota’s role as $367bn tax haven Guardian (Kevin W)

Got Hacked? Warren Bill Gives 48 Hours to Report Payments Bloomberg

Fed trading controversy shows Powell has ‘failed as a leader’: Warren American Banker

Jerome Powell is Finished Doomberg

Private equity pays record premiums for public companies Financial Times

Class Warfare

Tesla must pay $137 million to a Black employee who sued for racial discrimination NPR. As interesting is that Tesla was held responsible for the treatment of a contracted worker.

Where the Gay Things Are Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

What’s Driving the Huge U.S. Rent Spike? Bloomberg

Activists are Designing Mesh Networks to Deploy During Civil Unrest Vice. An explicitly anti-capitalist initiative.

Kellogg Workers Strike Nationwide – Teamsters Bus Shop Steward Dies of COVID – Annapolis Bus Drivers Strike Mike Elk

Essay mills: ‘Contract cheating’ to be made illegal in England BBC

DC Bulldozed a Homeless Person’s Tent While They Were Still Inside Vice (resilc)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (John Siman):

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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141 comments

  1. David May

    > The Moustache of Wisdom:

    “One day, 1,000 years from now, when they dig up this era, archaeologists will surely ask how was it that a great power called America set out to make the Middle East more like itself – embracing pluralism and the rule of law – and ended up instead becoming more like the Middle East – mimicking its worst tribal mores and introducing a whole new level of lawlessness into its national politics?”

    We don’t need to wait a thousand years. Anyone with half a brain can see that a country based on greed and exploitation is not going to export much good to anyone. America is sliding into the crapper of history and the rest of the world just wants it to hurry up and finish itself off before dragging the rest of us down with it.

    “America is a mistake, a giant mistake. – Sigmund Freud”

    Reply
    1. Soredemos

      Apparently that’s a real Freud quote. Hilarious, coming from a guy who was mistaken about basically everything.

      Reply
    2. Maritimer

      Guys like Tommy are so uninformed and unaware that they think that the World just continues on in a straight line. In this case, folks will be getting archeo grants to dig stuff up in 3020 like mummies ‘n such.

      Hey, Tommy, might want to read up on puters, AI, GI, SI for starters. Then move over to nano and bio techs. After that take a look at Transhumanism. Or, if you are in NYC, maybe just look out the window.

      Reply
    3. lance ringquist

      that was a great piece on exposing and demonizing a nafta billy clinton mouth piece. i used to call him nafta biilys Joseph Goebbels.

      this is the proper way to expose the dim wits behind disastrous polices.

      the dim wit once said that if a country does not embrace free trade, what the hell, bomb them into the stone age or something gruesome on that order.

      i used to know many democrats that hung onto every word he said, and bought every cartoon book he offered.

      today those democrats cover their ears and avert my eyes when i speak to them, and look away when i bring up the names of these monsters that still has them so enthralled.

      its time that the pulitzer, the nobels, the fake nobel prize in economics pull their prizes away from grifter con artists like frederick hayek, milton freidman, thomas freidman, empty suit hollowman obama, before they lose complete support from the worlds civil societies.

      Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . thank you for sending over your best and brightest to get the party started, eh David May?

      Reply
  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    For your delectation: The esteemed Yasmin Nair on gay assimilation, class politics, poisonous nonprofits, and scaring people with apocalyptic fundraising.

    I recommend the long article to you. (My only quibble is that I’m not sure that one truly would describe the Chicago History Museum as “august.”)

    Pertinent quote:
    “In a country where feminism means so little that abortions are in fact now virtually impossible for most women, the presence of a minoritized community speaking up for their conservative marriage rights presented little threat to the comfort levels of straight liberals and lefties. Many straight advocates for gay marriage took up the banner using archaic, even Biblical language.”

    Thinking about class and distribution of resources matters more than thinking about marriage as a right. Who’da thunkit?

    Reply
  3. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to bell end cat, Eliot Higgins began life as a BTL contributor to the Grauniad and gamer. His somewhat obsessive behaviour caught the attention of the powers that be. Higgins soon progressed from a two up, two down in Leicester to London and darling of the MSM.

    Down the road from Leicester, above a fish and chips shop in Coventry, the former jihadist known as the Syrian Observatory is to be found. He escaped or was helped to from the crackdown after the revolt in Homs.

    The jihadist used to work with Bell Pottinger in producing white helmet videos. These were often filmed at studios in Alexandria or Lebanon. There were some give aways in the footage, such as ambulances with French writing.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for the morning chuckle. They should have produced those White Helmet videos in Hollywood where the special effects are more tip top. They did, however, give them an Oscar, thereby adding to the illusion of realism.

      Reply
    2. Basil Pesto

      Further to bell end cat, Eliot Higgins began life as a BTL contributor to the Grauniad and gamer. His somewhat obsessive behaviour caught the attention of the powers that be. Higgins soon progressed from a two up, two down in Leicester to London and darling of the MSM.

      That could’ve been an interesting subject for a le Carré novel (rip)

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        > bell end cat

        Ouch!

        Adding, I have never liked the late LeCarré. There’s something too hot-house about the atmosphere; I miss the grime of the Circus, with its elevators that don’t work and dusty safes. But maybe that hot-house atmosphere is the best way to understand the modern UK.

        Reply
  4. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Ah yes, our Mr. Jones was always ready with a Sugar Ray type response – as Jesse our golden retriever discovered prior to visiting the vet to get his nose patched up.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      The difference between then and now was in that video. That stuff was everywhere in ancient Rome and nobody gave it a second thought but now if you want to go into that museum to see it, there are age limits and teenagers have to be accompanied by a parent. It is us that have gotten more prudish under the influence of the different religions over the ages.

      And if you think that that display is something, you should check up on stuff more closer to home – like the Moche sex pots of Peru.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        You’ll almost never see a mainstream movie with the actor displaying full frontal nudity, as the penis has become taboo-out of sight except for in porn, and as the video pointed out the display of penii stuck in time in 79 AD had nothing to with porn, but by golly there are some Romans who would put John Holmes to shame if their depicted proportions were true to life.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          There are movies with male frontal, like Roma, and frankly there are probably no more movies with female full frontal. We are a country founded in part by Puritans after all–not walking around in togas like those ancients on the Med.

          Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          Sometimes they were. I have several Roman writers in my collection and in one of them (Martial perhaps?) there is mention of how whenever this one guy came to the public baths, it always caused an uproar when he undressed.

          Reply
          1. jsn

            Without prior warning, I was led by a client to a nude beach in St. Martin.

            There I saw what wonders nature produces: there was a man who could not shine so in any other context. The pendent between his knees hung to the middle of his calves.

            On the other hand, he was less than 5 feet tall, but the proportions were genuinely Beardslyesque. Straight out of Petronius Satyricon!

            Reply
        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          In the case of Hollywood, you can’t separate this phenomenon from MeToo and power imbalances including the relative power of male actors compared to female actors. Ronnie Raygun was rumored to have abortion clinics at the studios for when powerful people needed to get rid of a problem.

          Rev mentions Martial, but one of his observations is about a very obvious sex slave. There are other problems, mostly slavery (really, you can stop there), so I wouldn’t say it was a free love hippie commune, at least the ones that weren’t sex cults.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Offhand I can only think of one recent movie with female full frontal and it’s from Germany. Time was when genitalia of either sex would get you an X rating although much content now comes via streaming or cable.

            Back in the day X movies were banned from almost all multiplexes.

            Reply
            1. Lee

              Just watched a very bleak and brutal Nordic noir four part series, Torpedo, from 2007 with brief full frontal nudity both male and female. It was originally aired on Norway’s TV 2 and averaged a half million viewers.

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                Even Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” featured male & female full nudity and that was back in the 70s-

                no video link provided ;)

                Reply
      2. Blue Duck

        I’m on book three of Maureen mcculloughs Rome series. In some ways it’s hard to believe that the ancient Romans are the same species as us!

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s a great series that as I have read them myself. But just imagine how future novelists are going to portray us going by the records that we will be leaving behind! :)

          Reply
  5. Nikkikat

    Regarding today’s cat video, It would seem the world over the undeniable truth: don’t mess with a cat!
    My tiny 9 pound cat regularly takes our Maine coon cat to the wood shed.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      It is encouraging to see that cats are good for something other than being in the icky mouse club, and really good sleeping companions who as is their wont, have largely shunned me in the summer when heat is unwanted in their body temps that run about 2 degrees warmer than us, but come the winter i’ll have 4 and 5 cat nights, pinning me down over bedspread in Brobding.

      I’m sure there is a market in Norway for videos of felines sleeping for 17 hours straight, weren’t they in rapture over a long playing campfire?

      Reply
      1. Glossolalia

        Cats may sleep 17 hours a day (at a minimum) but they are very beneficial in our house. Apart from keeping rodents out, they also take care of any camel crickets and other creepy crawlies that make it in to our basement. They can usually catch flies before we’re able to swat them, and thanks to their sharp eyesight, they are usually the first indication that we have a mosquito in the house!

        Reply
        1. Nikkikat

          I have not had a crawly critter in the house since we adopted our cats. I would never doubt that the Tuxedo cat would take on a bear or lion or anything that got into her territory!

          Reply
          1. Dictynna

            Other units in my condo building have been invaded by mice, but they avoided mine. I had two cats, who know how to open closets and cabinets, and are very bored.

            Reply
    2. Jen

      Watching the cat go after the bear, I remembered earlier this year when team useless, canine division remained snoozing comfortably in my bed while a bear was ravaging my chicken coop. My big orange cat was ready follow me out the door to take on the invader.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Remembering Steve Jobs, 10 Years Later”

    Having read a bit on what he was like to work for, I am going to have to agree with the obituary that one person wrote for him-

    ‘He made toys for rich people.’

    Great cat compilation in that video and I have seen others like them. Just goes to show you that cats give zero *****.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      While the quote above does summarize well his final act, Jobs life is much more complex going back to his cofounding of Apple. It’s really compelling when one thinks that the path for Gates and Jobs crossed with each other in the development of MS-DOS and the implementation of the point and click with a mouse design used from Xerox. Apple’s board fired him since he was not getting along with an actual CEO they had hired. Fast forward to the middle 90s, and resurrecting Apple from the near dead should not be overlooked. That company was just lingering but going nowhere fast.

      I’m not a patent lawyer….so of course I’m making a few lenient stretches in the above.

      Reply
    2. David

      This “toys for rich people” meme has always intrigued me, since it’s obviously so removed from reality. (Whether you like Apple products or not they are serious and work well, and are roughly the same price as comparable items made by others). Nobody accuses Sony of making TVs for rich people because, like Apple, they only address the high end of the market.

      I think there are two things really, both signs of nervousness from different groups of critics. One group of course are the tech enthusiasts, for whom computers should essentially be essentially working tools, inherently as difficult to use as they were thirty years ago, requiring a trained priesthood to keep them going. Jobs’s ambition to make the computer a consumer device which would in the end “just disappear” was a declaration of war against this priesthood, who just loved creating complex MS-DOS command lines, and for whom any computer was always work in progress, to be ripped down, rebuilt and endlessly tweaked. These people aren’t very numerous, but they pretty much run the tech media even today. For them, something that’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to use can’t be “serious” and so is absolute anathema.

      In turn, these people are an extreme case of a larger group: the vast majority of Anglo-Saxons, who grow up in a culture of ugliness, and for whom “industrial design” is a term they have to look up in a dictionary. The idea that when you buy a piece of technology it should be aesthetic, well made and work well, would seem unremarkable in countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Japan, where design is taken seriously, and people are willing to pay more for better products. Most Anglo-Saxon countries have a “well, it’s good enough and it’s cheap” ethos, which is why there is so much crap around.

      In fact, the comparison with Sony is apposite, because Akio Morita, the legendary founder of Sony was, like Jobs, not an engineer (he trained as a doctor) and he would take home every prototype the company made, without an instruction book, to see whether he could make it work. If not, he’d send it back. The flood of Japanese designs into the UK and US killed off the domestic electronics industry, like most of the car industry, because domestic manufacturers weren’t prepared to invest in making better quality goods, even if they could charge a bit more for them. Apple is an exception but then, as I’ve always argued, it’s not really an Anglo-Saxon company, at all. In many other cultures, people like Jobs would be closer to the norm. He did for electronics design what Terence Conran did for peoples’ homes, and more recently companies like Muji have done for everyday goods: bring a bit of taste and good design into peoples’ lives. There are worse epitaphs.

      Reply
      1. Soredemos

        Apple products were never examples of good design. They were examples of slick, stylish design. There’s a difference.

        Reply
      2. coboarts

        For a number of years I managed software development projects for a company then known as Apple’s premier third party software developer. It wasn’t all we did, but it was a huge part of it. I was there when Novel dropped support for the Mac and we developed Netware for the Mac. I was there as we transitioned to OS X and all the big cats. I’ve attended developer conferences and many of my engineers transitioned in and out of Apple into startups. Compared to working with Microsoft, Apple sucked, even for us. F their pirate flag.

        Reply
      3. The Rev Kev

        Apple itself under Jobs has to be considered in context of the people that brought their latest offerings. As an example, type in ‘lining up for iPhone release’ into YouTube to see what comes back. Do you remember when these people were all excited when it was rumoured that their next iPhone would come with – wait for it – rounded corners? You had some of them sleeping on the pavement for days to ensure that they would be one of the first in line. Think that you anybody could just afford to take a few days off just to get a new mobile? The only members of the precariat class there were those hired by the wealthier people to stand in line for them.

        Reply
  7. LL

    In the CMI re-infection study, criteria for “reinfection” was having a repeat positive test after 3 months, along CDC guidelines. They used electronic records, without apparent additional clinical re-evaluation. As some who are immunocompromised or seriously ill may have ongoing positive tests for longer than 90 days, these would fill criteria for re-infection, but actually be ongoing infection. With only 36 hospitalizations in re-infected, even just a few ongoing cases could bias the results.

    Reply
  8. jo6pac

    “Why Biden’s infrastructure will be a dud if passed, no tradesmen.”

    This been going on for about 20yrs. No one went into the trades and most unions back then were white only.
    I would think there might be a shortage of engineers for this project. We are on our way the USSR fall.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      A good many buildings in Sequoia NP date from the Mission 66 era, when it was decided that for the Golden Anniversary of our National Parks in 1966, brand new infrastructure would be built starting in 1955. They were adequate for the time but are antiquated and need replacements.

      The main visitor center at Lodgepole is typical, the men’s bathroom has 3 toilets and a few stalls for 2 million visitors.

      In stark contrast during the Centennial of our National Parks in 2016, if you were in Sequoia NP and went to a ranger station, you got a special commemorative round 2 inch decal and a 1×1 inch piece of cake.

      Let them eat cake in lieu of infrastructure…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_66

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      For want of a chip, the new car sale was lost,
      for want of a sale, horsepower was lost,
      for want of horsepower, the profit was lost,
      for want of profit, the dealership was lost,
      for want of dealerships, the auto industry was lost.
      So an industry was lost—all for want of a chip.

      Reply
    2. albrt

      Yes, very useful, although the author still seems to assume that cars must be more and more computerized going forward. I think “less computerized” will become a valid strategy at some point, and then we will see which one wins.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        The recent item on “flat-pack” EV trucks intersects (to my thinking, anyway) with the agendas of a site, “open source ecology”, that has intrigued me for a number of years.

        They don’t yet have personal transport designs buildable from off-the-shelf components. I feel pretty confident that their design will not be heavily reliant on microprocessors.

        Their price target for the components cost of a DIY auto-style EV is $8000

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        If they get rid of computer chips out of cars, then that means that those car manufacturers will lose all control of that car after they sell it to you. With all those chips in place, it means that they still get you to jump through some very lucrative hoops that they make necessary. Just look at what happened to farmers who brought John Deere tractors. That is the future that they want for us-

        https://www.wired.com/2015/02/new-high-tech-farm-equipment-nightmare-farmers/

        Reply
    3. notabanker

      It is amazing to contemplate that they used to make cars without any chips. And they worked. And you could repair them yourself. Quite arcane concepts I guess.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Ventured onto the lot of a dealership and almost immediately a salesman was on top of me, trying to sell me underside rust proofing, splash guards, all-season floor mats and an alarm system, but they didn’t have any new cars.

        Reply
        1. griffen

          Surely you know the first rule of sales. ABC (as proposed by Alec Baldwin in his most iconic dialogue from Glengarry Glen Ross).

          Always be closing.

          Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      “the natural organization of human society has always been predominantly authoritarian”

      Organization is authoritarian. Nothing new, the libertarian left have been engaging with these concepts for more than a century. The tricky part is how one increases the social cost of being a tool of authority. If people think of politics as some kind of joking relation, it is very easy for a small but significant proportion of people to increase the perceived risk of performing those relations by not taking them as a joke. Sooner or later they will learn to be someone less petty.

      Reply
      1. JP

        Well yes, the rule of law, but the law doesn’t need an authoritarian leader. The anarchist movement of the 1890’s eventually had to morph into socialism because core anarchist “leaders” proclaimed against any leaders or organization. A strong society doesn’t need strong leaders. The structure of society must have, at the very least, a fiber of agreed limits to behavior. Among the traditional Navaho, individuals police behavior simply by who or what they will tolerate. Murder is acceptable depending on circumstances. Thus without the tyranny of belief there is organization without the baggage of a leader. I think splitting semantic hairs can get in the way of advancing discussion of the real issues of creeping authoritarianism. Social costs are not necessarily the purview of government or leadership.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Indeed, social costs are not necessarily the purview of government or leadership, but those institutions nonetheless try to prevent their servants from bearing them. I’m only making the point that one’s choice to serve empire is informed by the ability to realize present expectations of future value, of their ability to enjoy the fruits of their partisan labor. The career path looks much less attractive if, say, the Chinese government will confiscate a terrorist’s family, or a hard-right enabler can’t have a peaceful s–t in public ever again.

          You’re definitely not wrong about politics being a religion, if not necessarily a brand new one.

          Reply
  9. Carolinian

    Re that Win 11 article

    You may have heard that thousands of machines currently running Windows will not be allowed to upgrade to Windows 11 due to a hardware incompatibility. At first glance this seems like plain old forced obsolescence, but the reality is much more sinister. Windows 11 now requires the use of a small dedicated chip attached to a computer motherboard called a TPM, something which their advertising copy and the mainstream press call a “Trusted Platform Module.” This is slightly misleading, as when it’s deployed by a proprietary software company, its relationship to the user isn’t one based on trust, but based on treachery. When fully controlled by the user, TPM can be a useful way to strengthen encryption and user privacy, but when it’s in the hands of Microsoft, we’re not optimistic.

    As the article says there are likely to be workarounds. But this sounds like yet another scheme to defeat switching your machine to Linux. Linux doesn’t need a ‘trusted module’ because it’s secure from the getgo rather than a kludge with decades old code that must be constantly bugfixed.

    Reply
    1. flora

      re: Trusted Platform Module

      Why am I remembering WaPo’s attempt to become the arbiter of “Trusted News Sources” a few years ago. /heh

      Reply
    2. Soredemos

      What that article fails to mention is that part of the reason Microsoft is doing this (restricting Windows 11 to only very recent CPUs) is because of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws. They’re taking a nuclear approach to those hardware level vulnerabilities by simply not allowing that hardware to be used. Linux isn’t secure from these flaws either, because they are problems at the level of the processor.

      Reply
    3. SteveB

      Still running Win 7 Pro on most of my machines. The only one that
      doesn’t is for offline stuff and uses Win XP……..

      I think I was the only left using Lotus 123 when Win 7 came out… I hate excel
      still long for 123…………
      8 was bad, 10 was bad, 11……. nah !!

      Reply
      1. flora

        Ah, indeed. Imo, XP was the high point of MS software before it started de-contenting, much like Apple’s X OS started de-contenting around the same time as the software-as-a-service business model took hold.

        Win 8’s basic problem, imo, was MS’s effort to make one OS apply to all platforms, everything from smart phones to servers. nah-gonna-work. Platforms were too different in hardware capabilities and memory management. (“Swiping” on a desktop monitor? Really?) Win 8.1 was better than 8.0 after it incorporated features that third party software companies started selling to make 8.0 desktop act more like Win 7. Not as good as 7 but serviceable

        Win 10 was an update/patch nightmare. Running a 6-month upgrade cycle instead of a 1-2 year upgrade cycle meant there wasn’t enough time for beta testing the upgrades before they were rolled out. As Groucho Marx said about real estate, ” You can even get stucco. Oh, how you can get stucco!”

        Win 11? No experience with that; I’ve assiduously avoided it.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          Back after the second Navy destroyer collision in the Pacific I read an article about the Navy’s attempt to convert all controls on the bridge to touch screens. Apparently sailors were expected to figure out for themselves how they worked. Long, interesting, story, but one item jumped out — the computers were still using Windows XP. I dunno, I barely remember XP, except that after I switched to it I liked it. I’m still running Win 7 Ultimate and I keep playing with various distros of Linux for when 7 no longer works.

          Reply
    4. urdsama

      One small quibble on Linux…

      It’s more secure than Windows, but it is not “secure from the getgo”. Most Linux vendors recommend using TPM as well if you want to be really secure. And if you do full Linux install (GUI, wireless, printers, etc.), you actually have a whole host of vulnerabilities unless you make certain changes.

      Much better than Windows, but not at all “secure”. The biggest advantage is that you can make the changes with the correct info (vulnerable code excepted). Windows…not so much.

      Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “US Hypes China’s Military Flights in Taiwan’s ADIZ”

    An ADIZ is just a piece of territory surrounding a country where that county wants to have identified who is in their air space. If you look at the second map on this age, you will see the outline of this ADIZ for Taiwan. Of course you will see the flight tracks at the bottom left of that box where the Chinese aircraft were playing their games but do you see all that territory at the top left taking up perhaps a third of this box? That happens to be the People’s Republic of China. Seems kinda funny how their ADIZ not only includes their own country but a chunk of their neighbors as well. Not exactly subtle that.

    Reply
    1. coboarts

      That’s fun, today we’re touching all the industries and organizations I’ve seen turn out to be nothing but whore houses -is that term still meaningful, assuming gender neutrality

      Reply
  11. PlutoniumKun

    Under the Wire: How Fence Ecologists Are Helping Western Wildlife Undark

    Having spent half a weekend trying to negotiate barbed wire fences, I can confirm that they are a huge problem for wildlife. Its interesting to see from fur remains how foxes and badgers can usually negotiate a fence, but its harder for larger animals. One sad sight was a deer foreleg, tangled up in the upper two strings of wire – the rest of the body presumably consumed by predators.

    One interesting solution now is virtual fencing, where gps collars with electric shock devices allow domestic animals to be controlled from wandering. They are using it in a suburb of Dublin to allow goats graze down fire attracting gorse and preserve open grasslands.

    Reply
  12. Cocomaan

    The humidity info with regard to Covid spread has not reached an institution of higher Ed that I consult for.

    They send out daily humidity warnings from their on campus gym. When the humidity gets too high, they shut it down to keep people safe from Covid. So on rainy weeks they are a flutter with warnings about imminent gym closure for the athletic teams and broader student population.

    I have no idea where they got their information. I haven’t had the heart to tell them the news about humidity and ventilation.

    It costs about $65k a year to go to this school, by the way.

    Reply
    1. Raymond Sim

      Regarding humidity and Covid transmission, one question I keep wondering about, but haven’t got round to looking into is this: When humidity is high an air conditioner has the potential to act as a scrubber, but do they?

      As anecdata, due to wildfires we’ve had some days with genuinely dangerous air quality here in Davis, and I found that running a humidifier and the a/c simultaneously seemed beneficial. Doing it for more than maybe 90 minutes at a time though made my wife miserably cold. If the effect is real, I imagine that contriving an HVAC system with a scrubber capability that solved that issue by mixing in air from the warm side of the heat pump, would be a straightforward engineering task.

      Reply
  13. Blue Duck

    re-assessing their work/life balance

    I’ve posted on this before, but this is me. I’m in my late thirties, have three young kids and a working spouse. Before covid I had a thriving career – I worked at all the top consulting firms, and across three different continents during my 15 year career.

    I had to quit when covid hit. We had no one to watch our three kids when the schools closed. During the last 18 months we changed our lifestyle to manage on my wife’s salary.

    I will never, ever go back to the US corporate world. I will stack shelves or dig trenches before I do that. I am leaving $180k per annum (pre tax) on the table. I know that is a truly privileged choice to make, but I am going to make it nonetheless. There is no such thing as work life balance in the United States labor pool. Hell, I was forced to work remotely from my sons ICU bed when he was really sick in 2018 (details on that in a precious post). There is no work out there that isn’t degrading, involved in the destruction of the biosphere or my fellow mans happiness. Plus, all that $180k gets eaten up by taxes and the childcare costs needed to work the hours. Plus we’d just piss the remainder away.

    I was a business school Tory in my early twenties. My time in the American workplace has left me a Marxist.

    Reply
    1. Raymond Sim

      I keep telling my family that Obama and Covid-19 have made goddam commie out of me. I’m not sure whether I’m kidding.

      Reply
    2. Silent Bob

      Amen. From the Archdruid, today: “I think that in retrospect, the decision to lock down entire societies to stop the coronavirus will end up in the history books as one of the most spectacular blunders ever committed by a ruling class. If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play.” https://www.ecosophia.net/that-untraversed-land/

      Reply
    3. cocomaan

      This is our experience too. I am saving and paying the mortgage as fast as possible so we can get ourselves mostly out of the rat race. Fortunately we have been frugal so we have the savings to be able to project eventual full retirement.

      In the meantime, I will ONLY be taking remote work. I have the talent to take such jobs, at least as long as it’s valued.

      Hope your son is doing well!

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        A good time to remember that there are many not so privileged, or fortunate, ones. Good for all persons who can live a decent, or great, life when a partner chooses to not participate in any of the rat races. Lets note all of the reports of teachers quiting, or retiring, as the schools become either a dangerous or even more oppresive work environment. Many working class people actually have no choice but to work “stacking shelves or digging trenches” to literally support themselves and, often, children. They are not willing or do not financially qualify for state or federal assistance. The bittersweet aspect to this situation is that they may be just getting by to pay basic expenses. Many are single parents with no partner in sight.

        Most are accutely aware that there are cohorts of age and class who remarkably live in decent housing, drive nice cars, enjoy eating out, vacations, have full freezers and celebrate special occasions lavishly. Hmmm. They do this because the adults in families “work under the table “. When the tax man calls they are below the povery line. Uh, yeah, I qualify for Medicaid, SNAP, free school lunches, reduced fees for kids’ sports or activities, etc. Oh, we are “smart”. We are special. If any one else wants to play, they could, too. We can include military members in the entitled group, too. It is a result of divide and conquer the peoples. The ones we know, only due to extended family, fit this exactly. Its being noticed and not just chuckled at like they are “outsiders” or “hillbillies “. No offense at all for truly poor people, who need assistance from the state. A nod to a different interpretation of John Fogerty ,1969: Its ain’t me, its ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no.

        Reply
        1. cocomaan

          It’s a good thing to stay humble, I agree. I’ve spent a lot of my career in shitty non profits watching society botch creating a more vibrant version of itself. Hell of a thing to watch!

          Reply
        2. InThePines

          One doesn’t need to earn (or report) much to lose Medicaid. Like, most full-time jobs are disqualifying. And most full-time W2 jobs in that bracket will leave you short of health care by a few hours every week (thanks, Obama.) I don’t begrudge any of my working poor acquaintances their unskimmed income or ill-gotten health care.

          Reply
    4. Maritimer

      “The Rat Race is over, the Rats won.”

      Dropped my Rat running shoes decades ago and never looked back. Consider this idea: Stress kills. What is one extra year of life worth?

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Agree. We are retired and so out of Rat Races many years ago. The fact that the ones who are still in the cages or mazes are still in one. They often can not move to escape one, if they have kids to support. This can be due to many complicated reasons. Coupled with the fact that saying ” Take this job and shove it” is just long past it’s time for many. Its not just living a life that is more enlightened or, at least, more peaceful and beautiful. Its reality that when they have the conscience to put others above their own desires, or needs, that those running shoes stay on, for now.

        Reply
    5. Basil Pesto

      This is an interesting thread. I remember idly speculating last year in comments here that something like this might happen as people had more time on their hands. I recalled my thoughts recently and thought it was probably just a wayward, full-of-it bit of speculation. But some of these comments give me pause.

      The example I drew on a bit last year was the covid golf boomlet: a safe outdoor activity that latterly has been out of reach for the young not because of cost (affordable golf is very easy to find in the anglophone world) but because of the various taxes on time of the neoliberal order. iirc golf memberships in Australia surged last year in the younger age groups, a group that golf administrators were desperate to reach and couldn’t when they tried.

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Life’s better together when you avoid Windows 11”

    When you think that Microsoft can’t get any worse with their operating systems, this happens. They want to push ‘promotional notifications’ (ads) through their operating system and when they actually tried it, it broke the taskbar and startup menu-

    https://www.neowin.net/news/how-an-ad-from-microsoft-broke-the-windows-11-start-menu-and-taskbar/

    Does this mean that down the track, that you will have adverts running across your taskbar for ‘The Bachelor’ one day?

    Reply
    1. gc54

      As long as they run along the bottom of the display a bit of paper taped there removes that distraction. If MS puts them on the right, I’ll say I have 2 monitors and push the crap out of view.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t forget the title bar of every window opened. Maybe you will have pop-ups saying that tickets are still available for “Hamilton.” :)

        Reply
  15. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Current Affairs link. Here’s an eyeopener of a passage.

    Over the last thirty years, gay activism has won victories, but it has also helped strengthen neoliberalism and the brutality of the state. Hate crime legislation enhances prison sentences and can even bring the death penalty into play. Inclusion in the military, whether gay or trans, only provides more vulnerable, mostly poor bodies for the killing machine of U.S imperialism. (For more on all three issues, try the excellent anthology Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion).

    Most of all, gay marriage, the big cause that has defined gay activism for the last three decades and whose spectacular public success emboldened the fights for the other two issues, has quietly shifted the national political conversation towards more privatization of resources. Need healthcare? Gay marriage will help because you can get on your spouse’s plan! Neither one of you has such a job? Too bad! Gay marriage was not for you anyway! Gay marriage was never simply part of the machinery of a neoliberal privatization of resources: it was from the start a necessary cog, an essential gear in the machinery. It was always a deeply conservative movement that has had long-lasting and damaging effects.

    Gore Vidal didn’t even like the term gay and claimed everyone was to a greater or lesser extent bisexual with the then current Kinsey Report to back him up. But somehow a movement that was about being allowed to live one’s life without being jailed or castrated turned into one that was about gay marriage and money and inheritance taxes–with arguments to the contrary automatically being tagged as “hate.” One could argue that the fallout of this movement, coopted by the rich portion of gay people, has had even broader implications with much of the animus against “deplorables” stemming from their supposed anti gay bigotry (here in our red state town we have a gay rights parade every year–go figure). Putin is condemned for his Russian Orthodox views on homosexuality so it even becomes an essential goal of our foreign policy.

    I’d say the article–swimming against the tide–is definite food for thought and worth a look.

    Reply
  16. Milton

    Re: Quit rate. It seems to this untrained person in the economics arena, that the increasing numbers of people leaving their jobs is simply a continuation of the trend from around 2008 that was briefly interupted by the Covid downturn. This trend has more to do with simple demographics (aging workers) but I’m sure there’s lots of anectdata around where we hear of a millenial jumping ship due to not wanting to abandon the work from home environment.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Not necessarily the case. It has been well documented that during 2021, a record number of working adults resigned dating back to the earlier months. Most working professionals either have or had just about hit their limits following all the work from home / remote possibilities.

      Work from home became a well I know you’re home so that implies you’re still available(!) One must be able to logon for a full day and be able to shut down after 8 to 9 hours per workday. Bonus comment on the impromptu Zoom or similar conference meeting scheduled right on your lunch reprieve. I quit calling them lunch breaks. A lunch run is a more apt depiction.

      Reply
  17. Greg Taylor

    The study that concluded Covid reinfections are more severe was not convincing. The 11.5% hospitalized of the 315 who were reinfected was compared to the 5.4% of 75149 who were initially infected. These aren’t comparable without some knowledge of the hospitalization rate of the 315 on the initial infection. The percentage of the 315 reinfected who had more severe cases the second time should have been reported. Even then they only counted self-reported symptomatic reinfections.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      From GM:

      It is a valid objection in principle, but it’s unlikely to explain the results — most of the reinfected were in the 18-39 and 40-59 age groups, not the 60+, and very few were immunocompromised.

      Reply
      1. Greg Taylor

        I asked the author:

        1. Of the 315 reinfections that were studied, what percentage were hospitalized on the first infection?
        2. Of the 315 reinfections:
        a. what percentage had a more severe infection the 2nd time?
        b. what percentage had similar infection severity both times?
        c. what percentage had a more severe infection the 1st time?

        If I get a response that indicates reinfections may not be more severe, I’ll let you know.

        Reply
  18. albrt

    I will vouch for the smartphone quitting story. I gave up my beloved Blackberry Passport a little more than a month ago when AT&T would no longer serve it. I switched to an Alcatel GoFlip 3 from Mint because it has a hotspot for a computer connection when a computer is really needed. Apparently my $20 per month Mint bill is still an overpay, but I am happy with it.

    The author is correct that smartphones make you stupid. I had several near-panic moments in the first few days after I made the switch, when I realized I did not have a phone number or some other piece of information with me. But I fairly quickly regained the ability to think more than ten seconds ahead about what I would likely need when I am going out.

    The big surprise for me was that my vision improved markedly within 24 hours of quitting the smart phone. I was suffering more serious eye-strain than I realized, and it was apparently 100% smart phone, not 8 hours a day on the work computer.

    Reply
    1. JCC

      I use mine very little except in the car. With a hat tip to some advice from Lambert I dumped Sirius and now use it primarily in the car for podbean and https://radio.garden, as well as texts with coworkers (regarding work issues), hotspot when travelling, and of course, phone calls. Emails and web browsing are out of the question for me. The screen is much too small for effective use and comfort, let alone a decent display UIX. And no business whatsoever, no banking, no payments, no credit card purchases ever. These systems, whether android or IOS, are too easily compromised.

      Of course I’m paying too much, but that’s another story :-)

      Reply
    2. Kevin Carhart

      I have an Alcatel also! I gave up my beloved Kyocera K9s for a similar reason. There was no technical barrier – they stopped. May many people follow in Arends’ footsteps and may the basic-SMSphones remain available. And may the covid people like Osterholm, Campbell and others incorporate people who deplore the smartphone for any of ten reasons, when they breezily say “you’ll have an app on your phone”… “Zoe symptom app” … “NHS contact tracing app” … “vaccine attestation app on your phone…. ”

      #@!*?!&

      Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “Few Masks. Sick Kids. Packed ERs. How One District’s First Four Weeks of School Went Bad.”

    Yeah, I’m just going to come out and say that this is what living with the virus looks like. And that the most obvious symptom is long lines of ambulances waiting outside hospitals for a bed to ‘open up’. Told my brother-in-law today that it was a good thing that this Coronavirus was not a Zombie virus as judging by how most governments have handled this, we would be all stumbling around and moaning by now.

    Reply
  20. Mikel

    “In 1961, Germany needed workers and Turks answered the call DW. Resilc: “Why Biden’s infrastructure will be a dud if passed, no tradesmen.”

    The US govt is more interested in subsidizing tech they think can replace human labor. If that’s lagging behind the things that are actually needed, they don’t care as long as the pain can be contained outside of affecting the elite.
    They moved manufacturing to another part of the world to NOT have to pay people here. That’s drastic and an indicator of the mindset.

    Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    The KNP Fire’s relentless march from the Sherman tree to the Grant tree has almost joined up as 50 mph winds pushed the blaze north. The tree formerly known as the Robert E. Lee is also in peril of the rebel advance from the south, but the press will do their best to ignore it’s status and not report on it, canceling it out as it were. No protective Reynolds Wrap for you Robbie!

    Reply
  22. antidlc

    Wishing you all the best, Yves.

    Hoping you can find someone who can help with your hip issue.

    Hoping you can get your elder care issues resolved.

    Reply
  23. roxan

    Regarding erotica–we went to see India’s famed Kajuraho (sp?) Temples, which have beautiful carvings, some very erotic. While we were marveling at these, a stout Indian lady standing beside us snapped, ‘Oh, all that dirty little sex!’ We laughed about that the rest of the trip. Clearly, India before Muslims and the Raj, had a different culture.

    Reply
    1. Raymond Sim

      It’s really not fair to blame white people or Islam for any prudery one might perceive in modern India. Think of everything poor Sita went through just because Ram couldn’t abide the gossip of a washerman.

      Regarding Khajuraho, what gods get up to isn’t necessarily an indicator of social mores in the way one might think. In a severely stratified society something like Khajuraho can serve both as titillation, and also as a very in-your-face reminder that rank has its priviliges.

      Reply
    1. foghorn longhorn

      Happened after a fight between students.
      Shooter was a student involved in fight and has been apprehended.

      Reply
  24. jr

    Tucker on the newly forming government office on UAPs:

    https://youtu.be/AIz9TQWEyVQ

    I’d like to think we were about to be invaded by aliens. I mean can we do any worse? Maybe we could get healthcare then. And it would put Tom Friedman’s existence into perspective. But if nothing else, it adds a spicy dose of surrealism to my day in a time when everything is, as the kids say, so “real”.

    Reply
  25. Kk

    “so merely being in the South is a tax on time”,it’s not a tax on time but a tax on the spirit and soul, Alabama must be the closest place to hell in North America.

    Reply
  26. Anon

    What’s driving the huge US rent spike?

    A rhetorical question… without the proceeding rhetoric, just a number of questionably correlated statistics. Perhaps it’s that I’m not a realtor, why I’m unable to divine a conclusion; but given that it’s Bloomberg, perhaps it’s just a call to financial arms? Chumming the housing waters, so to speak?

    Reply
  27. Raymond Sim

    My two cents on the article from ‘Clinical Microbiology and Infection’ (Once again btw, I came intending to post a link, only to find it already featured.):

    I daresay most readers will tacitly assume that the pcr-diagnosed infections which qualified the subjects for the cohort represent their first infection. This is not valid. The cohort, predominately hispanic and from Southern California, is drawn from a population which experienced some of the highest incidence in the U.S. during the first wave. Indeed the high incidence and shocking case fatality rates in SoCal during Winter 2020-2021 made it clear to all who cared to see that we weren’t getting anything remotely like naturally acquired herd immmunity.

    As I find myself constantly obliged to reiterate, in studies* where researchers actually look for the thing they are allegedly counting we see approximately one third of what are presumably initial infections failing to result in seroconversion. These people are disproportionately asymptomatic and disproportionately vulnerable to reinfection in the very near term. Thus, given the high incidence in their population, if we were to discover that for 10% of the study subjects their first diagnosed Covid infection was not in fact their very first Covid infection, that wouldn’t be suprising at all. In my opinion 25% would be suprising perhaps, but not shocking.

    On the other hand, without data on the variants involved I don’t think we can draw general conclusions about severity in reinfection from this study. The California variants wrought such unexpected havoc on that population that the difference between ‘got reinfected’ and ‘got B.1.429’ needs to be elucidated.

    *Prior to the pandemic of the variants, is anyone aware of more recent data?

    Reply
    1. Skunk

      Yes, we need more data. With dengue hemorrhagic fever, ADE seems to occur within specific antibody titers. See https://www.statnews.com/2017/11/02/dengue-second-infection/
      After an initial infection with dengue, it appears that antibody levels must fall into this range in order for ADE to happen upon reinfection. ADE is improbable with no antibodies or with high antibodies. Careful analysis of data was able to identify this range.

      Reply
    2. Skunk

      This article may also be of interest on the topic of reinfection with the delta strain of SARS-CoV-2 following vaccination against the original strain:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351274/

      Note the following: “…our data suggest that the balance between neutralizing and facilitating antibodies in vaccinated individuals is in favor of neutralization for the original Wuhan/D614G strain. However, in the case of the Delta variant, neutralizing antibodies have a decreased affinity for the spike protein, whereas facilitating antibodies display a strikingly increased affinity. Thus, ADE may be a concern for people receiving vaccines based on the original Wuhan strain spike sequence (either mRNA or viral vectors). Under these circumstances, second generation vaccines with spike protein formulations lacking structurally-conserved ADE-related epitopes should be considered.”

      In other words, if we consider the dengue ADE example, a rough model of the relevant titer range would be one in which the impact of the facilitating antibodies outweighs the neutralizing antibodies.

      Per this article on SARS-CoV-2, the delta variant is more likely than the original Wuhan strain to lead to facilitating antibodies and “…it can be reasonably assumed that the balance between neutralizing and facilitating antibodies may greatly differ according to the virus strain.”

      Again, data is needed to evaluate any potential problems of ADE upon reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, particularly in light of the apparent fact that different strains of the virus can be linked to different levels of facilitating versus neutralizing antibodies.

      Reply
  28. jr

    I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I would hazard to guess one trade that hasn’t been abandoned is cookery. In fact, I’d bet there is an overabundance of trained cooks and chefs out there. It rides the line between the trades and art, of course we here at NC know better but a lot of people don’t. It’s a “prettier” field in some eyes.

    Also, cooking schools are sold hard, especially in NYC, usurious loans and all. Cooking reality shows are to blame in my opinion. They have also made kitchens harder to work in, they were already deathcamps but now everyone wants to be the next Ramsey etc.

    Reply
  29. Jason Boxman

    Egads. How nuts is all of this? And we can test for kidney function, can we not? We should be testing every person that tests positive for COVID-19 for kidney function immediately and after 3, 6, 12 months. Ditto chest x-rays. What an insane public health response in the United States.

    Reply
    1. Raymond Sim

      A family member who had a high risk job, and tested positive during the first wave, despite sound policies at his employer, including masking, is now experiencing symptoms of impaired kidney function. Young, no comorbidities. Public health indeed.

      Reply
  30. Raymond Sim

    GM:

    …the scientific community and medical establishment are playing ball with the capitalist oligarchy on this and painting rosy pictures of mild endemicity, and people don’t have the knowledge base to understand what monstrous lies they are being told.

    ‘People who don’t have the knowledge base to understand what monstrous lies they are being told’ to include an increasing, perhaps now even predominant, portion of ‘alternative’ and ‘adversarial’ media figures. The information ops have been incredibly successful.

    Anyone reading this who thinks advocating for naturally acquired immunity is an anti-establishment position has been woefully deceived. Actions speak louder than words: The establishment goal is to get everybody infected as quickly as possible, and if you’re going around telling people natural infection’s all the protection you need, well you’re pretty much Worker of the Week, congrats!

    Reply
  31. Maritimer

    Essay mills: ‘Contract cheating’ to be made illegal in England BBC
    ********
    i yuosed a essay servis and woz able to get my batchelor’s degree no problum. Fur a while i wuz runing the afgan desk at WH.

    capitolism at work, leave alone!

    Reply
    1. Raymond Sim

      I remember this movie from when I was maybe 7. Was the story actually set at the Salton Sea? That would be almost too perfect.

      It was the second monster movie my mom ever let me watch. And I got to stay up late and watch it on the scary movie show.

      As happened with me and my own kids’ response to later movies, my blase’ reaction concerned her. But then she decided it was some sort of wholesome catharsis for my fear of centipedes.

      I just wasn’t scared of monsters. We lived in Michigan, I was scared of tornadoes – ‘The Wizard of Oz’ still scares me. And I’m still scared of mediterranean house centipedes – seriously, have you ever seen one of those things?

      Reply
  32. Mantid

    Random shout out to IMDoc. Hope you’re doing OK in these crazy times and write when you can, but no rush. We miss you but think of you often. Cheers!

    Reply
  33. Bill Smith

    “Activists are Designing Mesh Networks to Deploy During Civil Unrest Vice. An explicitly anti-capitalist initiative”

    Not sure why this is an anti-capitalist initiative. Companies do sell the equipment.

    And it is not hard for the government to shut it down. Equipment to do that is already around downtown DC and was used for Biden’s inauguration. It grew out of the stuff developed in Iraq and Afghanistan to shut down some of the roadside bombs types. It’s capable of jamming unauthorized equipment while letting authorized equipment broadcast. It can also triangulate unauthorized broadcasts.

    Reply
  34. Soredemos

    >When hope is a hindrance aeon

    There is definitely a critique of baseless optimism to be made, but frankly I don’t want to hear it from Arendt. To me, she does not across well especially in regards to the Nazis and the Holocaust. She herself clearly did have hope from she fled, ultimately to the US. Yes, the Nazis manipulated people in ghettos and camps with hope, but criticizing the actions of the captives leaders for having hope is part of what I consider one of her uglier lines of thinking that basically vilifies them for the desperate decisions they made in an impossible situation (a situation she had zero first-hand knowledge of because, again, she fled). Ultimately those ‘collaborationists’ were proven right. Where captive populations did make a stand and fight, most notably in the Warsaw Ghetto, they were completely butchered. Whereas there were at least some survivors from places where people made the agonizing decisions to sacrifice some to try and save others. I can’t emphasis this point enough: Arendt, herself having given up and chosen to repeatably flee, then had the gall to level scorn on others for not pulling a Charge of the Light Brigade.

    And contrary to her assertions, the world did do something about the holocaust: it fought a war and ended it. The allied powers were aware it was happening, and deemed that the quickest way to end it was to concentrate on ending the war as a whole. Which proved to be the correct course of action. What would Arendt have had them do? Send entire armies to charge deep into German territory to liberate camps, likely getting surrounded in the process?

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      You don’t appear to be familiar with Arendt’s work on the subject.

      From her postscript to Eichmann in Jerusalem (emphasis added):

      The controversy began by calling attention to the conduct of the Jewish people during the years of the Final Solution, thus following up the question, first raised by the Israeli prosecutor, of whether the Jews could or should have defended themselves. I had dismissed that question as silly and cruel, since it testified to a fatal ignorance of the conditions at the time.

      More:

      It has now been discussed to exhaustion, and the most amazing conclusions have been drawn. The well-known historico-socio-logical construct of a “ghetto mentality” (which in Israel has taken its place in history textbooks and in this country has been espoused chiefly by the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim—against the furious protest of official American Judaism) has been repeatedly dragged in to explain behavior which was not at all confined to the Jewish people and which therefore cannot be explained by specifically Jewish factors. The suggestions proliferated until someone who evidently found the whole discussion too dull had the brilliant idea of evoking Freudian theories and attributing to the whole Jewish people a “death wish”—unconscious, of course. This was the unexpected conclusion certain reviewers chose to draw from the “image” of a book, created by certain interest groups, in which I allegedly had claimed that the Jews had murdered themselves. And why had I told such a monstrously implausible lie? Out of “self-hatred,” of course.

      on the question of the jewish leadership (including the sonderkommandos):

      Since the role of the Jewish leadership had come up at the trial, and since I had reported and commented on it, it was inevitable that it too should be discussed. This, in my opinion, is a serious question, but the debate [on EiJ specifically] has contributed little to its clarification. As can be seen from the recent trial in Israel at which a certain Hirsch Birnblat, a former chief of the Jewish police in a Polish town and now a conductor at the Israeli Opera, first was sentenced by a district court to five years’ imprisonment, and then was exonerated by the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, whose unanimous opinion indirectly exonerated the Jewish Councils in general, the Jewish Establishment is bitterly divided on this issue. In the debate, however, the most vocal participants were those who either identified the Jewish people with its leadership—in striking contrast to the clear distinction made in almost all the reports of survivors, which may be summed up in the words of a former inmate of Theresienstadt: “The Jewish people as a whole behaved magnificently. Only the leadership failed”—or justified the Jewish functionaries by citing all the commendable services they had rendered before the war, and above all before the era of the Final Solution, as though there were no difference between helping Jews to emigrate and helping the Nazis to deport them.

      The introduction to the penguin classics edition of EiJ – which is excellent – outlines the controversy of EiJ and the misrepresentations of her opinions in the holocaust in more detail.

      Reply
  35. JBird4049

    Almost no one believed that a genocide, let alone the multiple ones as was the goal, was going to happen. As Slavs were next, I do not think that Poland would have surrendered.

    IIRC, at least half of Germany’s Jews fled before the war started. Those who did not have the money, or were too old, or disabled, stayed and died. After the Nazis’ seizure of power, to resist meant the individual you being arrested and sent to the work camps, if you were “lucky.” If not, you “disappeared into the night and the fog” often accompanied by your family, children included. The Nazis were believers in collective punishment.

    The Germans lied. They deliberately fooled people. Pogroms, theft, murder, military defeat, all that was to be predicted and was believed. But systematic genocide of multiple peoples? That they intended to kill all the European Jews, most Slavs, and other minorities besides?

    But when the truth was unavoidable, in 1943, it was too late to escape. No was no more saving to be done. That is why it took several years for the Jewish resistance to get going. Why hope was not wrong for years. But, If you are going to be exterminated and you find out, why be passive?

    I am not brave. I do not know what I would have done. But we are talking about eleven million human beings who were genocided. Five million Jew and six million others. Perhaps, in the end, there was no “right” answer. Just bad choices.

    Reply
  36. Raymond Sim

    There’s almost never a ‘right’ answer. And the lies the Nazis told were so successful because they fit european mindsets of the time so well. If political rhetoric is any guide the Polish interwar zeitgeist wasn’t all that different from Germany’s

    My impression is that people simply underestmated the German capacity to get things done, which isn’t suprising given the comparative socioeconomic dysfunction in much of Europe relative to Germany. And to this day I think the importance of the egalitarian (in its own way), and self-sacrificing ethos that prevailed in Germany isn’t properly appreciated, leading to misunderstandings about the nature of fascism.

    Reply

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