Links 10/7/2021

Birds Have a Mysterious ‘Quantum Sense’. Scientists Have Now Seen It in Action Science Alert (David L)

Wanted: Sweet Skunks That Do Sick Stunts Atlas Obscura (Chuck L)

How Limb Development Evolved in Vertebrates Technology Networks (Kevin W)

Early human activities impacted Earth’s atmosphere more than previously known Desert Research Institute (Robert M)

In first, ocean drone captures footage from inside hurricane PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Old NY mobsters reportedly fear handing over reins to phone-obsessed, soft millennials New York Post. Paul R: “Bwahaha. I’m glad someone is finally figuring this out, even if it’s the mob.” One pervasive example of street smarts fail for anyone in a city: listening to music while walking on the street. You can’t hear ambient noises, or not well enough. Asking to be mugged.

AlphaFold Is The Most Important Achievement In AI—Ever Forbes (David L)

Flash-heating efficiently recycles precious metals from e-waste New Atlas (David L)

In California, some buy machines that make water out of air Associate Press (David L)

Machine learning and high-powered microscopes provide detailed snapshots of cells’ inner machinery News-medical.net (Kevin W)

Authoritative parenting is best style for raising confident kids: Child psychologist CNBC (furzy)

WHO Endorses ‘Breakthrough’ Childhood Vaccine For Malaria Gizmodo (Kevin W)

#COVID-19

How to end the pandemic: The case for eradication WSWS

Science/Medicine

Sweden, Denmark pause Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for younger age groups Reuters (flora, Bob H)

Major Israeli study finds risk of heart inflammation after COVID shots is minute Times of Israel (David L)

Heart Damage Plagues Covid Survivors a Year After Infection, Study Shows Bloomberg. Study: One-year Risks and Burdens of Incident Cardiovascular Disease in COVID-19: Cardiovascular Manifestations of Long COVID Nature. Preprint

‘The virus has become smarter’: COVID variants causing more severe disease, Canadian study shows National Post. Study: Evaluation of the relative virulence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants: a retrospective cohort study in Ontario, Canada Canadian Medical Association Journal. GM:

It has been known now for a long time that this is the case, since February-March when there was enough data for B.1.1.7 and after we had observed the second waves in Manaus and South Africa. And then we had people being cremated on sidewalks in India in areas with 50-60% prior seropositivity, which was quite telling.

But it will not stop people from claiming exactly the opposite. Because vaccines changed the age composition of cases and reduced the frequency of bad outcomes in general, so you look at the UK and the CFR is 0.4% for the last four months while it was >2% prior to that, and thus we declare victory over the virus, which has now supposedly attenuated to a common cold. In reality, if you do a proper age-matched analysis, it turns out the probability of ending up in hospital if you are infected has more than doubled, but hey, why spoil the party with bad news…

Study: Incidence, co-occurrence, and evolution of long-COVID features: A 6-month retrospective cohort study of 273,618 survivors of COVID-19 PLOS. Peer reviewed.

Merck Sells Covid Pill for 40 Times What It Costs to Make Intercept (furzy)

Long Covid: People Are Risking Their Health Going Back to the Office Rolling Stone (UserFriendly)

US

Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans disproportionally killed by Covid-19 last year, study says NBC. Quelle surprise.

US: Doctors in Alaska making ‘difficult choices’ amid COVID surge Al Jazeera (resilc)

Americans are desperate to visit Hawaii – but apparently not enough to get vaccinated Guardian (resilc)

New Hampshire GOP Lawmaker Claims COVID Vaccine Contains ‘Living Organism’ With Tentacles’ Newsweek. Resilc: “Live free or die.”

Maryland man allegedly fatally shot his pharmacist brother for ‘killing people’ with the COVID vaccine, court records show Baltimore Sun (furzy)

When Americans Resisted Seat Belt Laws History (resilc)

China?

Biden Tells Japan’s New PM That the US Will Defend Senkaku Islands from China Antiwar. Resilc: “Let’s all have a nuke war and depression over this…great idea Joe.”

China defiant amid new US trade war threats Asia Times (Kevin W)

Biden and Xi Jinping of China Agree to Hold a Virtual Summit New York Times (furzy)

As the Evergrande saga unravels, China’s property market can expect a further slowdown South China Morning Post (furzy)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam ‘not involved’ in deciding whether Tiananmen crackdown statue can remain on university campus South China Morning Post (furzy)

Old Blighty

Boris Johnson steps up battle with business over UK supply chain crisis Financial Times. Help me. As if scapegoating the locals will accomplish anything.

The EU Is Panicking Over Skyrocketing Energy Prices OilPrice

New Cold War

Iran looking for ‘big jump’ in Russia relations with Moscow talks Al Jazeera (resilc)

Syraqistan

Wardak peace: Rural Afghans live with Taliban, U.S. legacy Washington Post (resilc)

A Different Sort of Truth ConsortiumNews (Chuck L). I keep lugging Guantanamo Diary around but have yet to find the time to read it.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Exclusive: US counterterrorism operations touched 85 countries in the last 3 years alone USA Today (resilc)

The Bankruptcy of ‘Great Power Competition’ Antiwar. Resilc: “We are a hollow shell of a country.”

Trump

The Florida Bar wants to immunize AG Moody and all lawyers who are state officers Florida Bulldog

1/6

New York mother, son arrested in theft of Pelosi staff’s laptop during Capitol riot NBC (furzy)

Democrats, Republicans agree to short-term debt limit increase Roll Call

Federal Judge Halts Enforcement of Texas Abortion Law New York Times (Kevin W)

Texas abortion law is temporarily blocked by a federal judge — but it’s unclear if that means procedures will now resume Texas Tribune

Give Amazon and Facebook a Seat at the United Nations Bloomberg (Kevin W)

New coin from US Mint to highlight Vermont’s role in sport of snowboarding WPTZ. Resilc: “I think a zillion dollar snowboard coin for the debt ceiling is in order.”

Our Famously Free Press

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Instead of a Free Press ConsortiumNews (Chuck L)

Special Report: How AT&T helped build far-right One America News Reuters

CalPERS Contracting Agencies Face New World of Liability Woes JD Supra (Kevin W)

Why transparency is important for CalPERS Top1000Funds.com (Kevin W). Wow, they really can get the press to transcribe this intelligence-insulting tripe.

From guurst. OMFG, the stupid, it burns. First, did anyone specify as of what date??? Second, companies have different expense and revenue recognition policies. When they book that they own inventory is often an accounting decision, and also often differs by divisional level v. corporate. Like who owns chips in transit? Does they buyer book then when they go on the loading dock as the seller’s factor, or (say) when they clear customs in the country of arrival (shipments are often subject to financial letters of credit, so this is not an unreasonable position to take).

Globalization Meets Entropy…and We Lose CounterPunch (resilc)

The classic cars being converted to electric vehicles BBC

NASA moves two astronauts off delayed Boeing missions to SpaceX in rare reassignment CNBC. Kevin W: “Maybe the astronauts said ‘If it’s Boeing, we aren’t going.'”

US considers releasing emergency oil reserves to tame fuel price surge Financial Times

We have no theory of inflation Duncan Weldon (resilc)

Class Warfare

How Other Nations Pay for Child Care. The U.S. Is an Outlier. New York Times. Resilc: “Once not a fetus, you’re on your own, get a job.”

Antidote du jour. japl: “Yellow woolly caterpillars on a major maple tree in our back yard.”

And a bonus (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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159 comments

  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    Old NY mobsters reportedly fear handing over reins to phone-obsessed, soft millennials
    …… You can’t hear ambient noises, or not well enough. Asking to be mugged.

    To be fair to the millennials, most have never lived in a NYC where mugging was something you regularly had to take precaution against.

    Reply
    1. Sluggo

      I didn’t wear headphones when I lived in NYC, but I do now that I live in Boston. NYC’s got way too much going on to be safe wearing headphones while walking down the street.

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        Never understood the appeal; I enjoyed walking down Winter to Washington and seeing and hearing the great masses of tourists, or hearing the impromptu musicians in the Park subway station, or the relative calm of standing by the harbor and looking out over at the airport. But then I never got into podcasts either.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Back in the bad old days when the FBI were trying to work out the table of organization for those mob families, they were reduced to seeing who opened up car doors for whom to get an idea of who was more senior. With this new generation? All they have to do is follow them on SnapChat and copy pictures of them posing with guns, drugs and money. Wanna know how it could get any worse for those old NY mobsters? If this new generation of mobsters all had MBAs.

      Reply
    3. Michael Fiorillo

      In the Bad Old Days, mobbed-up neighborhoods in NY were usually among those least affected by street crime. I grew up in Greenwich Village, and let’s just say you didn’t f*”× around anywhere near Chin Gigante’s clubhouse on Sullivan St. The heroin they sold affected other neighborhoods, but Wiseguys and Yout’s trying to impress them made sure muggers and purse-snatchers paid a heavy price for trespassing…

      Reply
      1. jr

        Word was that if you were to start trouble in Philly around South St., your net worth would suddenly increase by 10G$

        Reply
      2. coboarts

        I lived in Ocean Beach, CA, in 1973, just out of high school. It was the first block up Voltaire St. from W Point Loma Blvd, catty corner to the infamous Pat’s Liquor. The entire apartment building next to me was HA (Hell’s Angels). Greatest bunch of neighbors one could have asked for, and there was ZERO messing around our homes – believe me.

        Reply
      3. lordkoos

        Similarly, back in the 70s and 80s a friend of mine lived in “alphabet city” (lower east side), and directly downstairs from his apartment was a drug supermarket run out of of the laundromat on the ground floor. Petty crime never happened on that block, because that would have interfered with business. If you lived on that block or were a known guest, you were safe on that block…

        Reply
    4. TBellT

      True, never got mugged when I lived there. They joy of headphones is that they are a great excuse for ignoring tourists asking for directions, a common nuisance.

      Reply
        1. TBellT

          If it’s a weekend or we’re already on the subway sure I enjoy helping. If I’m trying to catch my evening commute and it’s Midtown where there are 100 other people you can ask then no.

          Reply
    5. Mikel

      From the article, it’s also alot about the over-sharing and use of easily surveilled items like the phones.
      Gangsta world and the world of big finance is all about the secrets you keep – PRIVACY.

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I would think surveillance and leaving a trail of every thing you do would be the issue. There’s a reason everyone used payphones in all the old crime movies.

        Reply
    6. Maritimer

      What no mention of burner phones?

      This seems to be a taboo subject in the MSM and other media, indicating to me that they are being used big time, how else could parts of the “economy” function?

      I would think major criminal organizations are buying these by the container load. How else you gonna do business?

      For example, anyone remember Credit Suisse conviction in the US:
      https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/credit-suisse-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-aid-and-assist-us-taxpayers-filing-false-returns

      You wanna make honest money, sell burner phones.

      Reply
  2. Cocomaan

    Flash-heating efficiently recycles precious metals from e-waste New Atlas (David L)

    Has any checked on Peter Schiff? Hope he’s okay. Don’t leave any sharp objects around.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Back in the day in the 1980’s I worked for a firm that bought silver bars from a firm that recycled film from Hollywood back into bullion.

      They weren’t lying when they called it ‘the silver screen’.

      Reply
      1. John Zelnicker

        @Wukchumni
        October 7, 2021 at 9:56 am
        ——-

        Silver, indeed.

        Without it most movies and still photographs wouldn’t exist. Silver halides are the light-reactive coating on film that creates the images. To this day, digital cameras are unable to reach the resolution that silver halide molecules can.

        IIRC, Kodak is bringing back the much-loved Ektachome slide and movie film. Those of you who read National Geographic are familiar with the brilliant images it produces.

        Reply
      2. Vandemonian

        When I worked in hospital admin, the spent developer solution that had been used on X-ray film was sent off to have the silver recovered. It was quite a lucrative exercise, but I could never work out where the money ended up. It certainly never appeared in the accounts of the hospital’s Radiology department.

        Reply
  3. griffen

    Not a commodity or WTI / energy pricing maven here, so can someone help explain why the impetus for releasing xx barrels of supply from the US strategic reserve? I mean WTI per barrel is mid-70s, so the talk seems a bit premature perhaps.

    I think when I gassed the old tank (2008 Accord) that Unleaded octane 87 was about $2.90 per gallon. So pricing has increased but I couldn’t really give specifics.

    Reply
    1. Charger01

      Good question. Up in the Pac NW, a gallon of 87 runs around 3.55-3.69 range. Reminds me of 2011-2012, before fracking had really flooded the market with cheaper crude.

      Reply
        1. Pavel

          I just spoke with a Swedish friend who works as a rural nurse and thus must drive; she noted with dismay that gas there has just gone up to “2€ per litre” which works out to around $8.60 per gallon (if my maths are correct ;-)… and she was converting in her head from SEK). In any case, prices are always much higher in the EU so those in the USA shouldn’t complain too much!

          Reply
          1. Fiery Hunt

            If I got national health care, I’d happily pay what Europe pays!

            As it is, I get very, very little from the taxes I pay…the roads are terrible in the Bay Area.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              Is the USA ready to do away with the 9/10’s of a Cent on the end of the price of a gallon of gas, that probably made for a great stealthy added on increase in revenue when it was a Quarter a gallon in 1964, but seems quaint now?

              Reply
      1. Robert Hahl

        My favorite indicator of stress in the economy is when the price difference between regular and premium gasoline drops below 20 cents per gallon, which I think means that people don’t have any money to burn. The price difference is normally 45 to 50 cents in the D.C. area.

        Reply
      2. Glossolalia

        It’s also a big problem for all those gig economy workers like Uber and Doordash drivers who have to pay for their own fuel.

        Reply
      3. Fiery Hunt

        My favorite “new” trick the ptb have implemented are carpool lanes that you can now pay to use even if you’re a single driver.

        Nothing says “Wealth rewards itself” like being able to buy your way out of traffic….

        Reply
    2. Blue Duck

      We’re closing in on $5 in Sonoma county and it is starting to hurt. Gas prices are one of the factors that squeezed home owners prior to the housing collapse in 2007. Pump prices are effectively a tax, and pull money away from consumption and necessities. The strategic reserves are being deployed to push down prices ahead of whatever economic cluster-f is on the horizon

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        On Vancouver Island, outside of Victoria, we are paying $1.49/litre. So multiply by 4, then again by 5/4 to account for the lower Canadian dollar. In Victoria and Vancouver, add about 5 cents more to the original price, for transit taxes.

        Reply
    3. JeffC

      Climate has economists proposing carbon taxes and cap-n-trade schemes, and in some countries they are a reality. But the whole purpose of those is make hydrocarbons like gasoline so expensive that people will cut back. They’ll drive less, fly less, heat less. People are REALLY atttached to travel and heat, so to get a meaningful reduction, we are talking really nasty price hikes.

      So what’s the point if every time people are threatened with having to cut back the politicians scramble to negotiate supply increases or even open up the National Peteoleum Reserve?

      Do we want cheap oil for convenience or seriously pricey oil so that the planet doesn’t die (or die as fast)? Hey Joe, you can’t go both ways on this one!

      Reply
    4. coboarts

      It’s a bama play, right? That gas is for when there isn’t any – not to reduce the price of your fill up. Like CA water, our nation’s resiliency is being p—–d away.

      Reply
    1. Nikkikat

      Rev Kev, the I’m not a cat video is one of our all time favorites!
      When either myself or husband has a bout of confusion, we respond with “I’m not cat”. Lol

      Reply
  4. zagonostra

    >When Americans Resisted Seat Belt Laws History (resilc)

    The battle over safety belt laws in 1980s America reflected widespread criticism of government regulation in a free society…There was still a lot of resistance by people who thought this was a terrible infringement on their liberty…As one Bronx resident grumbled, “This is not supposed to be Russia where the government tells you what to do and when to do it…At least eight state shot down mandatory seat belt laws on ideological grounds

    Are we subrosa making any comparisons here? Do you find this as disingenuous as I do?

    Reply
    1. bassmule

      To paraphrase a comment by a young gent from Queens about the Beastie Boys: “Whaddaya want me to say? We used to be reasonable but now we’re jerks? We were ALWAYS jerks.”

      Reply
      1. Freedumb Fighter

        Oh yes it did if you listened to the anti-belters. I’m so old I well remember those anti-belters claiming it killed people by trapping them in burning wreckage, injuring their abdomens/spines directly, or by keeping them from being “safely thrown clear” of the accident. Just like the anti-helmet bikers claimed that the extra weight of a helmet would kill you by breaking your neck. I suppose all that these scenarios could conceivably occur and possibly even have.

        Of course what the anti-belters and anti-helmet crazies pointedly ignored is that even if their claims had any merit, the number of people saved massively outnumbered the people “killed” by seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Just as anti-vaxxers massively overestimate the risks of vaccination vs. getting the diseases being vaccinated against. I’ve known anti-helmet bikers and they are literally the same idiots who today are anti-COVID vax and anti-mask mandate (see Sturgis). It seems to be a relatively common cognitive disorder that makes people reflexively and petulantly unable to make rational risk assessments whenever faced with authority trying to compel safety measures.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Seat-belt laws were introduced across Aussie States from 1970-71 and people tried arguing about what would happen if you were trapped in a car on fire or if your car went into a river. The answer to both was that a seat-belt would help stop you being knocked unconscious and/or injured allowing you to get out. Then in the early 80s I was in the UK when they brought in their seat-belt laws. And you had people arguing against them saying what would happen if you were trapped in a car on fire or if your car went into a river. You would think that they could access the data from countries like Oz to put these arguments down once and for all.

      Reply
    3. Carolinian

      Now we fasten our seat belts but drive through stop signs–perhaps on the theory that the belts and airbags mean it’s ok to be reckless.

      The truth is that Americans are not quite rational when it comes to their cars. And the rationality problem may spill over to Covid where, as Greenwald pointed out in a column, people condemn the unvaxxed as bad citizens while endangering many others as well as themselves with their driving. Groupthink rules the land.

      Reply
      1. Duke of Prunes

        I recall an auto safety expert saying the safest car would have a spike in the middle of the stearing wheel directed at the driver. Point being, as we make cars “safer” some percentage of drivers will assume they can drive a bit more dangerously since the car will protect them.

        Reply
    4. PlutoniumKun

      There is an argument based on a theory known as Risk Compensation that seat belts, and any other ‘visible’ safety feature simply displaces hazard. Its been argued that seat belts have decreased deaths among front seat passengers, at the expense of others – mostly pedestrians and cyclists. But the death rates among the latter have been ‘hidden’ by the dramatic drop in the number of people walking and cycling in busy areas over the past few decades (caused to a large degree by increases in speed and bad driving).

      Somewhat tongue in cheek, advocates for risk compensation have argued that the safest car would have seat belts for passengers, but none for the driver, with the belt replaced by a 6 inch spike in the steering wheel. In such a world, everyone would drive much more slowly and with far more care. More drivers would die in accidents, but far fewer passengers and pedestrians.

      For somewhat obvious reasons, nobody has been able to work out how to do a real-world experiment based on this. But research around various ‘safety’ regulations does indicate that there is at least some risk compensation going on. One study in the UK showed that drivers drive more closely to cyclists wearing helmets – but farther away when the driver had a blonde wig.

      Reply
      1. flora

        That made me smile, and reminds me of the old adage: “the reason cars have brakes is so drivers can drive fast.” If you can’t control the stopping distance you’ll never drive faster than a walk… in theory. / ;)

        Reply
        1. Mildred Montana

          And the reason cars have horns is so drivers don’t have to use their brakes. When approaching an intersection on an amber light, sound horn and accelerate!

          Reply
      2. Pelham

        On the other hand, I recently heard the story — from a motorcycle course instructor — of a guy who needed a kidney transplant in New York state. He was put on a list but waited for quite some time with no luck. New York has a helmet law for motorcyclists.

        As fate would have it, he had to move to Ohio, where there’s no helmet law. He was put on a list there and got a fresh kidney right away.

        Soooo, I suppose these safety rules can cut either way. Marginal but up-close personal experience suggests to me that people who wear bicycle helmets seem to fly over their handlebars a good deal more than those who eschew helmet wearing.

        Reply
    5. Yoghurt

      I think the seatbelt analogy maps better to masks rather than vaccine. Seatbelt and mask are non-invasive. You can stop wearing them when not in car or space shared with other people (unlike vaccine). There is no lasting damage from wearing either. Neither is 100% guarantee of safety. And both had/have a totally over the top and out of proportion reaction against them.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Except that the case for seatbelts is much stronger than the case for masks. Pre seatbelts many people died in accidents because thrown from their car.

        Reply
    6. Poopypants

      If I remember, in the U.S. there was an argument made that that the Insurance companies wanted the seat belt laws for, what else, monetary purposes.

      If a person is wearing a seat belt, it was reasoned, they might die and that’s ok and they might live with minimal injury, also ok.

      But no seat belt meant going through windows and getting bashed up pretty badly resulting in serious injuries that cost Insurance Cos. lots of money for lots of time, not good.

      Any one else remember this argument?

      Reply
    1. R

      Robin Redbreast?

      You obviously read the Copenhagen interpretation of nursery rhymes (HC Andersen & Niels Bohr).

      Did you mean Roger Penrose? Or did your reference just go straight over my head?

      Reply
      1. CNu

        Nobel laureate Sir Roger Penrose wrote The Emperor’s New Mind over 30 years ago. He and Stuart Hameroff haven’t quite proven their shared thesis, however, they’ve marshalled far more evidence in support of it than exists for any competing theory of mind.

        Arguably, Erwin Schrodinger laid the foundation for the quantum distinction between living and non-living in 1943 with What Is Life? Stuart Kauffman’s two year old answer to that brings it forward and provides a compelling basis for a “religious” exemption to the mRNA Neo-Vaccinoid Mandate.

        This 59 minute video can be found on youtube by searching “What is Life? Answering Schrödinger”

        Reply
      2. Eustachedesaintpierre

        No reference intended as I was just referring to a robin being the first bird in which the effects were discovered – the last I heard scientists were looking at swallows & dolphins.

        Just basically silly me, but Penrose is of course involved in Orch Or.

        Reply
    2. Soredemos

      The idea that the brain is essentially an organic computer has never depended on quantum effects. In fact the idea that microtubules were small enough to be subject to quantum mechanics has been used either as a way to try and salvage the concept of free will, or as a backdoor to try and shove mysticism and the soul back into the equation.

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It puts an awful lot of pressure on that poor, humble meat computer to claim that the human intellect can attain full understanding of a cosmos so ancient, so vast and with seemingly infinite Russian doll-like complexity. After all, isn’t mysticism about an intuitive perceiving of the cosmos not translatable into language by the intellect? And can’t an assertion of “free will” be little more than a claim that the carbon-based human mind, even with silicon-based computing help, will never be able to lay out a timeline for all events in the observable universe for even the next hour, much less a century of human time? To me, the dead cat inside Schrodinger’s box is determinism.

        It might be wise to leave a little room for chaos, mystery and paradox if only to avoid making overly extravagant claims for such a humble three pound package.

        Reply
        1. Soredemos

          I never made any claim that the human brain can ever fully comprehend the universe. Though I think it’s done a pretty impressive job, considering it’s a jury-rigged contraption that not so long ago didn’t need to govern much more than poop flinging and tree climbing.

          Whether we can ever fully understand reality or not, magic is not a viable explanation. Mysticism is itself ultimately an assertion made by human intellect. It’s just one that conspicuously never seems able to muster any supporting evidence.

          Reply
      2. Eustachedesaintpierre

        That’s one unimaginative way at looking at it but neither Penrose nor Hammeroff have any religious drum to beat, they are just searching for the roots of consciousness rather than others wanting to bring it down to our size by putting it into a box whether it’s the machine men of the religious – personally I don’t believe that our arrogant assumptions about reality matter very much to the universe, as each baby step only reveals many more questions.

        Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, there is. It’s called copyright theft. Thanks for advocating stealing from writers.

        And you can find your happiness elsewhere on the Internet. No more poaching bandwidth I pay for to spout your noxious views.

        Reply
  5. Roger Blakely

    I read the Rolling Stone article on long COVID, and it generated some thoughts for me. The PMC is going to be confronted with the consequences of long COVID. It reminds me of the 1870s when a respiratory virus hit horses. The economy slowed down because no amount of flogging could get the horses to move.

    We have several factors converging. People in California want the pandemic to be over. Counties in the Bay Area are ready to ditch mask mandates. Employers want employees to return to the office. However, levels of community transmission are as high as they were in the spring or summer. Things have changed since 2020. On one hand in 2020 we did not have vaccines. On the other hand in 2021 we no longer have social distancing and the kids are back in school. In office buildings HVAC systems efficiently distribute Delta. Employers can bring employees back to office buildings but only if employees are wearing respirators (add goggles for the restroom). With nothing but surgical masks and cloth face coverings all office employees will be inhaling Delta. In the UK a study has estimated that 10% of COVID-19 infections result in long COVID, and three-quarters of those patients are being deemed unfit for work by medical providers. In other words one out of every thirteen workers will be unfit for work.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Colour me cynical but when I read the first sentences – ‘For many people who got Covid-19, symptoms and “brain fog” come back unexpectedly, making commutes and in-office work difficult. How will employers handle this new cohort?’ – my first thought was that employers are just going to sack them. Medical problems are something that professional managers do not want to bother with as seen with how Jeff Bezos deals with his injured employees. The only problem? Big businesses have ensured that this virus is endemic so instead of identifying and sacking sick employees and being done with it, this will be a constant re-occurring problem as a consequence of ‘living with the virus.’

      Reply
      1. Charger01

        The PMC is going to be confronted with the consequences of long COVID.

        Health insurance will cover it.
        Oh wait….. /s

        Reply
    2. Lee

      In tangentially related news gleaned from Dr. Campbell’s most recent video:

      “Three Moderna founders make Forbes list of America’s richest during pandemic.”

      “$2.48 billion in R&D and supply funding from the U.S. government”

      https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/after-nearly-1b-research-funding-moderna-takes-1-5b-coronavirus-vaccine-order-from-u-s

      He also discusses the surprisingly high current rate of infection prevalence but remains cautiously optimistic that following an autumnal peak, better as in less awful days lie ahead in developed countries, while in the rest of the world things will not go so well.

      Reply
    3. Pelham

      There was another study recently that put the long-Covid proportion at 37%, though maybe not all were unfit for work. To me, this is gigantic, frightening news, but I have zero expectation it will be covered that way in the mainstream or that any politician, public authority or employer will respond in any way appropriate to the scale and depth of the problem. Personally, I’m hunkering down at least as much as I ever did.

      Reply
    4. lyman alpha blob

      Serious question – how many ex-smokers are there in the world who smoked for more than a decade? Do they have long term damage that will affect them later in life? I smoked for 25 years before quitting several years ago and I’m quite sure I have some damage to my respiratory system that will never completely heal. And yet I can still take a jog or go up a few flights of stairs a lot easier than the overweight people I see getting short of breath after not all that much exertion.

      So is the long rona worse than a decade of smoking? Than being obese? Because a substantial portion of the US population already suffers from those.

      Less serious question – what will the long term effects of millions of people wringing their hands in anxiety and worry be?

      Reply
      1. Lee

        The effects of long Covid might be more systemic as is the case with post-viral ME/CFS, which is quite debilitating for some, who are often bed or housebound, and less so for others who are able to perform occupations that are not that physically or mentally demanding.

        Reply
      2. Mildred Montana

        @lyman alpha blob

        I heard a doctor say that being thirty pounds overweight was the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. So what about the many people who are fifty, a hundred pounds overweight? Two packs? Three packs?

        Reply
      3. lordkoos

        I smoked for 20 years, from the time I was 16 til I was 36, I’m now 70. If you quite early enough your lungs repair themselves, but if you wait too long it’s another story.

        Long term COVID sounds more frightening to me, as most who have it will suffer some organ damage, and we’re not talking your appendix here, but kidneys, heart, lungs, or liver etc.

        Reply
      4. FreeMarketApologist

        My father smoked from his late 20s until his mid-50s. Died in his mid-80s from lung cancer, detected 3 yrs earlier.

        Reply
      5. Yves Smith Post author

        Long Covid and Covid generally, is an endothelial disease, not a lung disease, even though it enters through the respiratory system. That’s why it presents with so many symptom patterns and lasting bad effects.

        Reply
  6. Wukchumni

    As the Evergrande saga unravels, China’s property market can expect a further slowdown South China Morning Post
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A couple of westerner motorcycle riders living in China have been making videos for years documenting how shoddy the construction of buildings is there, and the astounding property bubble that grew out of it.

    One of them describes moving into a what looked like a posh new apartment building and how it fell apart during his time as a tenant.

    You never generally hear stories like that in these United States…

    Why Evergrande Collapsed – Our Chinese Houses Crumbled

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKbLB_T-IjY

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Wow, but I’m not too surprised. I’m sure that US residential property learned valuable lessons after 2007 to 2009. Ha ha.

      Prices can only ever go higher, right? I love reading a one off article, just for sake of discussion, how a property complex of manufactured or modular homes in Malibu run above $1 million. Makes very little sense.

      Reply
      1. TimH

        That pic a few days ago of a Louisiana stilt house with half missing showed how shoddy construction can be in US too.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Yes, well, hurricanes will do that to a building.
          A few days after Katrina breezed through our town, I ambled on down to a spot on the Lower Pearl River side where a line of “fishing camps” had been. These were generally well built places, up on stilts. One place had been built up on welded steel ‘I’ beam legs and base frame. Not a single structure survived, as in, only the legs were left. High winds and waves and large flat vertical surfaces do not play together well.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith Post author

            No, no, Dave in Austin provided a LONG comment on how multiple aspects of its construction were way way way below code, as indirectly proven by a house right next door looking unscathed.

            Reply
        2. Sino Headache

          A friend who spent a lifetime in construction told me years ago that using *any* materials sourced from the PRC in construction were likely to cause significant grief down the road for the owners beyond even that caused by shoddy and cheap US-sourced equivalents and yet “reputable” contractors routinely did exactly that to save a few dollars while throwing up half-million dollar tract houses.

          My takeaway is that we tend to massively overestimate those we look on as threats or “enemies” and that China is probably at least as screwed up, mismanaged, and dysfunctional as any of our own countries, and thus a lot less scary/capable/competent/a threat than most presume it to be.

          Reply
    2. cnchal

      So much for experience. I would have thought the Chinese would be experts at pouring concrete by now, but no, it’s all crap all the time.

      No wonder the Chinese elite take the money stolen from crApple assembly line slaves and run . . . to Vancouver, Toronto or anywhere else not China. No price is too high when paying with loot. What can a Canadian do to compete for housing? Moar debt.

      Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      The AVChina guys have always been very interesting – I’ve always liked how they focus on things they see on their trips around China rather than what they read in either the English or Mandarin language media. They started out as fairly pro-China, but they’ve curdled over the years into being very anti-Chinese government. Whether this is ‘organic’ or whether this was a profitable niche they slipped into, I’m not sure. Generally speaking, they are good at the things they know about (the things they’ve seen and experienced and that they know through their Chinese family connections), but kind of tin foily at anything else.

      Chinese construction quality is pretty horrifying by any standard (with the exception of a few very high income areas). The reasons for this are quite straightforward – financial suppression means that the only real way Chinese people can save is by investing in property, which is seen as much safer than the stock market or the shadow banking area. So houses become a little like bitcoin – their notional value is very different from the objective value of having a home. In China, people quote prices per square metre. I remember my surprise when Chinese friends would ask me ‘how much is an apartment in Ireland?’ They wanted the answer in per metre terms – of course I had no idea. So apartments in particular (because its hard to buy land or many forms of commercial property) become commodified. Nearly all are bought off the plans a few years before they are built. Buyers aren’t particularly interested in the quality as they assume the government will maintain high prices (probably correctly) and they are rarely interested in rental income, as tenants can be too annoying. So there is zero incentive for developers to do anything but a bare minimum construction standard. Add to this the widespread fakery of products, and you have a massive malinvestment issue.

      On a related note, I’m always interested in how Chinese perceptions change when investing in property. A close friend of mine has a little business helping Chinese (not super rich, just a little richer than normal) Chinese buy properties. A few years ago they were very indiscriminate – they didn’t really care what they bought so long as it looked good and was close to a good school. They didn’t even seem to bother with worrying about rental income. I had to work very hard one time to dissuade one person from buying a wildly inappropriate house (it was big, looked impressive, but was super tacky and not in an area which would interest renters). But the more recent wave (many from HK/Guangdong, as they see the writing on the wall for their region) are far more careful. They are worried about the UK and looking elsewhere, and are being quite focused on things like a good address (location, location, location) and rental income. They are far more discerning.

      Reply
      1. coboarts

        So, the SF Bay Area is filling up with those Chinese who have stolen their money in China and brought it here. They are the most wonderful of neighbors, hahahaha

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          That’s ad hominem and a violation of site Policies.

          Has absolutely nada to do with their observations about Chinese construction.

          And while we are at it, I note that this is far from the first time you have acted as a self appointed policer of alleged China haters. So who has a bias here?

          Reply
    4. John

      Those road warrior sons of imperialism reminded me of how I sounded in 1970 as a naive member of the US imperial forces going around the countryside in Korea and Japan. Shocked and horrified and poor maintenance. Lack of civic pride, bla bla.
      And of course, Japan and Korea look quite different today.
      They could have been US PMC talking about US ghettos. They are outraged by the amorality of not taking care of property.
      Of course, I got older and came to see that I was looking at a moment in an economic cycle. They probably will too. Funny old world, repeating itself.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Wouldn’t it be funny if right now there were two Chinese dudes going around America on their motorcycles and doing the same exact type of videos. I would imagine that they would have a lot to say about how America used to be and is no longer what it is any more. Video number one might be about their arrival in JFK airport and how third world it would appear in comparison to Chinese airports.

        Reply
        1. rowlf

          There are motorcycle travel reports from Germans traveling on back roads from Mexico to Canada. One of my favorite excerpts was the couple traveling in northern Arizona (or in the area) noting that the liquor was locked up but ammunition was stacked on shelves in a general store.

          Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Oh, do I believe you, steve.

        A friend of the family was my parents’ handyman for many years. In a previous life, he worked for the Toll Brothers. While he was in their employ, he coined this slogan:

        Toll Brothers Homes: Guaranteed for five years. And then they fall apart.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          And here I am again. When I was a little Slim, I lived in western Pennsylvania. That is where Ryan Homes got started and even as a tyke, I knew that those homes were nuthin’ but trouble.

          Reply
    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Three Gorges Dam is constructed according to the same shoddy anti-standards, one wonders how long it will last till it explosively fails.

      Reply
  7. R

    Nice “science I can invest in” links on protein folding and flash pyrolysis but Forbes is only useful to know what the received wisdom is.

    There was a good debunking of Alphafold triumphalism, philosophically and practically on In the Pipeline recently. TL, DR: glorified pattern matching is beaten in at least a subset of problems by a “grammar” and “language” of protein folding. LSO the Forbes article oversimplifies and never mentions the bloody things are always in motion and in solution and the “structure” is at best a time average and at worst not true to in vivo conditions….

    https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/another-way-do-protein-structure-prediction

    On the flash pyrolysis, this is neither new nor even as scaled as other groups’ work here. For example, Enval (admittedly not working on mixed metals and plastics but at least operating at scale on plastic/metal pyrolytic separation and recovery).

    https://www.enval.com/

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thank you. That article was frustrating, making bold claims only to find later in the article that the AI hadn’t actually accurately predicted the structure a lot of the time.

      Reply
  8. Questa Nota

    The front row kids must be the progenitors of that new chip policy. Did any of them ever have a job in the real world? Or did they have their headphones earbuds in the whole time, waiting for reality to mug them?

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Scientific management of strategic trade. Read alongside the recent surge of concern of consumer electronics manufacturers and on up the supply chain locking down devices against “unauthorized” firmware, I get the sense that corraling the maker movement is part of what I glibly call the Total Computational Awareness initiative. You can’t hack your drones to enter restricted air space if you can’t replace the code in the processor and you can’t install a new unlocked processor because you can’t get one at retail, for example.

      Meanwhile, Delta seems to have resumed commuter air traffic over the past week or two. Peeking at flightradar24 this morning, it seems to be mostly passengers, and mostly to Southern-type states, but maybe there are chips or chip-bearing automotive components on board.

      Reply
  9. Henry Moon Pie

    EU gas panic–

    For those who choose to ignore the Limits to Growth and its successors, here’s an article that reminds us that a resource does not need to be completely depleted to disrupt supplies.

    On a related matter, in that fun thread that Yves started about how long an “energy transition” will take, a view was offered by a commenter that the world should concentrate on carbon emissions from China and India since, purportedly but incorrectly, the U. S. and EU were reducing their carbon emissions. First, that contention had to rely on national aggregate figures rather than per capita numbers because the latter demonstrated the injustice of letting the U. S. and EU off the hook because they still have significantly higher per capita emission than either China or India. Second, it ignored the fact that the U. S. and EU have offshored much of their manufacturing and thus, much of their carbon emissions.

    And then there is the historical factor. This article includes a very enlightening animation tracking major nations’ relative “contributions” to atmospheric carbon along with our “progress” toward 1.5 degrees of warming. (Perhaps the most shocking thing about this animation is the way that the values on the x-axis have to shift left so rapidly because of the increase in carbon emissions over the past 50 years.)

    We ‘Murcans are first among sinners by a wide, wide margin.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I don’t know about the EU, but I know that ” the U.S.” did NOT offshore ANY of its manufacturing plant. The International Free Trade Conspiracy, acting through domestic plants and agents like Bill Clinton, offshored the U.S.’s manufacturing plant.

      Many Americans tried to stop the IFTC ( International Free Trade Conspiracy) from offshoring our plants.
      But we were defeated.

      So bragging about how morally sensitive you can be over how ” We ‘Muricans are first among sinners by a wide, wide margin” repels me deeply. “We”? White man?

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Bill Clinton is a man of famously huge appetites for many different things, but he is hardly responsible for all those carbon emissions, and we were far outstripping the rest of the world when he was busy not inhaling at Oxford.

        Looking at that animation, it’s pretty clear that there wouldn’t be such a short window for us to act on climate change if the residents of the United States had not been so enthusiastic in their consumption.

        The pointing of fingers at China and especially India is something that’s going to be happening with regularity, and given the current per capita carbon footprints in the U. S. and the history of emissions, I do think it is an immoral position to claim that those countries are the ones that are responsible. For those countries with many very poor who need to raise living standards substantially to meet even what the poor have here, it’s a “let ’em eat cake” position.

        Do you think American consumers are blameless when it comes to the amount of carbon already in our atmosphere and the carbon we continue to put there? I don’t, and I readily and sadly admit my own share of the guilt.

        Reply
  10. LaRuse

    I absolutely loved the Duck Antidote. I want a small flock of hens for the same pest controlling (plus egg laying) purpose in my little suburban yard. My neighborhood has several families with illicit chickens, but my next door neighbors are particularly intolerant of living animals (they tried to have a dumped kitten collected by animal control from MY yard last summer – I rescued it and found a home for it) and animal control would get called on me like lightning if I brought in some chickens.

    Reply
    1. Pelham

      In a slightly earlier life my wife and I kept a few chickens and guinea fowl but have none since moving. I’m surprised at how much I miss them. There’s some unidentified and elusive creature in our new neighborhood that occasionally emits a sound like a guinea hen, and my heart breaks a little each time I hear it.

      Reply
  11. begob

    Give Amazon and Facebook a Seat at the United Nations

    “If the wolf keeps threatening to blow the house down,” said a court-appointed guardian for the Three Pigs, “why not just let him in? We can sort out the details later.”

    If brands have the power, wealth and impact of nation-states, and increasingly act like nation-states, should they not be brought into the nation-state community, and held to account for what they really are: equals, allies, competitors and threats?

    Reply
    1. ArvidMartensen

      These huge internet companies are just instantiations of the human faults and ambitions of their founder/owners.

      Zuckerberg is on record as wanting domination. Obviously so does Bezos and Musk. They are reprising their ancient ancestor testosterone-fuelled monkey fights for domination over other alpha males.
      And workers and “customers” are just tools and roadkill in the race to be the king, the one with the biggest.

      Zuckerberg and Bezos would fit right in at the UN. They probably already have their own secret services and espionage services, their own diplomats. Maybe their own armies are next as the US government sinks further and further into irrelevance.

      Reply
  12. russell1200

    We have no theory of inflation
    Siting the second footnote from a Fed Paper:

    “I leave aside the deeper concern that the primary role of mainstream economics in our society is to provide an apologetics for a criminally oppressive, unsustainable, and unjust social order” – is the most eye-catching line but, unless I am seriously underestimating the radicalism of the leadership of the Fed, probably not the most significant for policy.”
    https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2021062pap.pdf
    Gotta love it!

    Reply
    1. chuck roast

      The guy is now a GS-13 for life. Anyway, discussions of inflation are all palaver without mention of structural issues like the widespread prevalence of monopolies and cartels. Suppression of innovation, barriers to entry, rent seeking through arbitrary pricing, political arbitration…what am I missing? Studying orthodox economics is akin to self-abuse…except for the minor thrill. Back in the day when I was going to the confessional, the older kids instructed the younger kids to tell the priest that, “I had bad actions with myself.” The priest would tell each of us not to hang out with the other guys because they were all a bad influence…10 our fathers and 10 hail Marys. After confession we would all get together and yuk it up…that’s what they do at the Federal Reserve minus the penance.

      Reply
  13. tegnost

    Cancelled as a noun…
    Washington State Ferries crew problems…this happened yesterday also, same boat…orcas shaw and lopez seem to get the short end of the stick this week, and the grocery store will reflect that, and add in the fact that a fair number of the grocery workers on lopez at least live elsewhere and use the ferry to get to work…and that 8:30 to Friday Harbor is a mainstay for commerce…

    from the WSDOT ferries website

    “Ana/SJs – #1 Chelan Out of Service Until 3:40PM Ana Sailing – October 7
    Due to a shortage of Coast Guard Documented Crew, the #1 Chelan will be out of service on October 7 until the 3:40 p.m. Anacortes departure.
    This cancels the following sailings:

    5:30 a.m. Anacortes to Orcas
    6:45 a.m. Orcas to Shaw
    7:00 a.m. Shaw to Lopez
    7:30 a.m. Lopez to Anacortes
    8:30 a.m. Anacortes to Friday Harbor
    9:55 p.m. Friday Harbor to Lopez
    10:40 a.m. Lopez to Anacortes
    11:55 a.m. Anacortes to Lopez
    12:45 p.m. Lopez to Friday Harbor
    1:55 p.m. Friday Harbor to Anacortes”

    The “best” part is that this cancellation happened at like 5 or 6 in the am so lots of people were sitting in line, no advance warning…

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      actually there was advance warning, at 10:15 last night, so those with ferry alerts did know, those without probably showed up.

      Reply
    2. Mt. Dallas Cowboy

      I used to live in Friday Harbor and for people needing medical treatment (there are a lot of retirees out in the islands), delayed/canceled ferries are no joke.

      The local media imply that the crew shortage is due to the recent state vaccine mandate, but as that mandate coming into force is still 11 days off, this is obviously a deliberate work action instead. Like nearly anyone else living in the islands I knew people who worked on the ferries and those were considered good jobs with great pay and bennies for blue collar islanders without degrees. I hope the state is already training up new USCG certified employees to replace the 10% or so who completely foreseeably would never assent to being vaccinated and not waiting until a crisis is already in force to begin.

      Reply
  14. Lee

    ‘The virus has become smarter’: COVID variants causing more severe disease, Canadian study shows National Post.

    If I may pick a semantic nit: the “smartest” thing a virus can do is to cause no harm, as is the case with numerous viruses we all harbor without ill effect. Virulence itself is more often than not maladaptive as it more rapidly kills the host rendering it less useful for the virus’s persistence, replication, and transmission to new hosts. OTOH, a densely packed and highly mobile species such as ours, combined with asymptomatic transmission, provide opportunities for more virulent mutations to arise. As if the one we’ve got now isn’t bad enough.

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘Washington has given global chipmakers and electronics device makers until Nov. 8 to voluntarily send in information on inventories, production capacity, and who their key customers are for specific products.’

    It’s a shake-down – and a bluff. My guess is that TSMC has some really good computer security and the NSA have not managed to crack it so that they can download that info themselves. The Biden regime is telling TSMC to hand over their crown jewels or maybe the US won’t defend them. And what does TSMC make? Computer chips. And right now there is a shortage of computer chips which is leading to chaos in supply chains. What is Washington going to do? Sanction their chips? Embargo them? It’s not like they have a huge customer next door who would gladly buy those chips instead. Oh wait…

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Well it did say voluntarily. Yesterday there was a good Jalopnik link here on why it’s so difficult to maintain the auto chip supply. Turns out a big reason is that carmakers prefer older, well proven chips and the fabs want to turn out the latest hi tech versions.

      Hyundai has said that next year they will start making their own chips and since they are in chip crazy Korea they probably will.

      Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “In dry California, some buy units that make water from air”

    All I can say is that he had better have those units in the South Ridge repaired by midday, or there’ll be hell to pay.

    Reply
        1. coboarts

          hang plastic bags (include a clean rock) from the limbs of your plants overnight (desert training) -works, but won’t fill the swimming pool

          Reply
  17. outside observer

    re Major Israeli study finds risk of heart inflammation after COVID shots is minute Times of Israel

    There was another major Israeli study in the same issue that had a slightly more alarming result for young men. “Myocarditis after BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine against Covid-19 in Israel”
    “In our study, definite or probable cases of myocarditis among persons between the ages of 16 and 19 years within 21 days after the second vaccine dose occurred in approximately 1 of 6637 male recipients and in 1 of 99,853 female recipients.”

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      The kinds of figures that will bring $$$$ in additional sickcare without raising the alarm too quickly about what is going on.

      Reply
      1. outside observer

        I think it is somewhere around 1/1000 for that age group, so definitely higher. Yet, one would hope something could be tweaked to reduce the dangers from the vaccine. The risk benefit calculation really starts to depend on community prevalence.

        Reply
          1. Raymond Sim

            This appears to be a study which uses the (in my opinion) deliberate crappiness of VAERS against the vaccine. So points for hoisting Pharma on its own petard.

            However the methodology has been severely critiqued. And it doesn’t seem it can honestly be called a UC study. Dr. Hoeg apparently has a tangential association with UCD, but nothing like the sort of appointment that would warrant that description.

            Reply
  18. Jesper

    About:Sweden, Denmark pause Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for younger age groups

    It is quite interesting to follow the debate in Sweden now. Not too long ago the people who were hesitant to take the ‘vaccine’ were labelled as conspiracy-theorists by the proponents of the ‘vaccine’ and of mandates to take the ‘vaccine’.
    Now that the authorities have changed their mind, probably due to new data has come in and also been analysed, then the people who argue for mandates of the ‘vaccine’ have put forward the theory that anti-vaxxers have infiltrated the authorities and that infiltration is supposedly why there is now a pause in the vaccinations.
    Some might argue that an infiltration of authorities is a conspiracy and the ones who are putting forward that theory are in fact conspiracy-theorists.

    The messaging about the ‘vaccine, what it does do and (possibly more importantly) what it does not do has in my opinion been poor in many countries.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Another theory is that Moderna has long tentacles and any bad publicity about the vax must be attacked, perhaps through cutouts. Billions are at stake.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      “The messaging about the ‘vaccine, what it does do and (possibly more importantly) what it does not do has in my opinion been poor in many countries.”

      A strong contender for the understatement of the day award.

      Reply
    3. ProudWappie

      If they pause Moderna, they should also pause Pfizer, since it’s so very similar. That should completely bomb any efforts to force vaccination on the young, but unfortunately, our he(a)l(l)(th) minister in The Netherlands is doubling down on “soft” vaccine mandates for 13+.

      Why oh why, is it impossible to have an adult discussion on vaccine side effects?

      Reply
        1. rowlf

          I guess I am sleeping with the lights on again tonight in case there is an MBA hiding in the closet or under my bed. /s

          How long did they test the new malaria vaccine for safety that is in the news?

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Had the same thought myself. Normally people have a trust in most vaccines because of their long history behind them but after the past few months with these new vaccines, I suspect that people will have a lot more mistrust for any new vaccines going forward, no matter what it is for.

            Reply
      1. Maritimer

        “Why oh why, is it impossible to have an adult discussion on vaccine side effects?”
        *********
        Yes, just follow the money. And not only side effects. But what about all the illness and death that might have been prevented by informing the public about prophylactics and treatments? (Many of the supposedly scientific studies ignore the existence of prophylactics/treatments.)

        In my jurisdiction, it is vaccine, vaccine and more vaccine. Never any mention of prophylactics or treatments.

        If sick, get tested. If infected go home till very sick and then come to hospital. That is the New Medicine

        Reply
  19. Mikel

    “We have no theory of inflation” Duncan Weldon

    Compare with:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-hidden-hedge-against-inflation-11633619524?mod=mw_latestnews/
    “…But our broader perceptions are bedeviled by an even bigger problem. Workers who are earning a poverty wage of less than $20,000 a year or who are getting by with a part-time gig are counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as among the “employed.” If you count them more appropriately among the unemployed, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Domestic labor supply far outstrips demand….

    …In other words, it remained easy for employers to hire from this enormous supply of purportedly “employed” workers, a group that essentially acts as a hidden hedge against inflation. And the same thing is true now.

    To be sure, it’s not my contention that the underlying macroeconomic theory is wrong. I accept that if true unemployment figures fell below a certain figure, the labor shortage might spark a new round of real wage inflation. But we’re nowhere near that point. …”

    That’s why they feel they can print to their hearts content for the elite and the words “inflation” never form on their lips. But give a worker more money and then that’s the big, scary “inflation.”

    The theory of inflation is thus: Keep ’em starving and hungry and working from pennies using whatever narrative it takes.

    Reply
  20. Jason Boxman

    So I wonder if we’re going to have a whole new class of homeless in the coming years: Those with long-COVID that can no longer work and have exhausting any savings or other support options. I think looking back, it will be apparent that not taking the virus seriously and pursuing elimination aggressively will be one of the biggest failures of the 21st century. Although depending on how badly we fail on climate, perhaps it won’t really matter what items 2, 3, ect. are in that list.

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      “I think looking back, it will be apparent that not taking the virus seriously and pursuing elimination aggressively will be one of the biggest failures of the 21st century.”

      I think looking back on “enlightened docility” toward mandatory vaccines will be one of the biggest failures of the 21st century.

      “The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his or her ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”

      Vaclav Havel

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VfJ0BJvt7Y&t=98s&ab_channel=AcademyofIdeas

      Reply
    2. JBird4049

      Well, as I see it, “social services” in America is more of a façade or as one “customer service” agent said to me, your healthcare assistance plan is actually your healthcare prevention plan.

      Once your are disabled, you are supposed to use Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, (Submit bitter laughing here.) which is part of Social Security, but that is merely part of the scam. You apply and the pettifactors pretended to process my claim, while really finding any reason, any reason at all, to deny, or at least delay it. IIRC, six offices, five cities, three years, two states, multiple doctors visits to confirm what my voluminous submitted records from at least three doctors of some decades already said.

      Each step added three to six months because those were the individual legal deadlines when they had to investigate and get back to you with the inevitable denial and appeal, and they always went to the wire. I finally had to go to their special regional court and judge. Meaning I had to hire my own pettifogger, paying him from some of the back payments, assuming I won. I had to submit yet more written evidence aside from the previous multiple submits.

      Fortunately, I was successful with both the judge and the lawyer being surprised that I had to go to court to get approval. If I had not succeeded, I would have had to appeal to some special national court, which can take an actual decade to have your case heard, and then there is the consideration of it, and who knows when they would finish with that?

      To make it clear just how cruelly corrupt, even sadistic, the system is, you legally cannot work even one hour or earn by work even one dollar. If you do, it is an automatic disqualification. At best, you would have to start all over again.

      I was blessed with family who kept me going emotionally and financially (it only income from work that disqualifies.), multiple doctors, detailed records going years, and a mailing address for the many pieces of mail sent back and forth, and a phone.

      This all in the San Francisco Bay Area in the Blue, “liberal” state of California.

      If those getting long covid need disability assistance, I would suggest they start yesterday, and if it is in a Southern state, God help them.

      What’s that saying on neoliberalism around here?

      1) Because Markets.
      2) Go Die.

      Yes? I would change it or add another saying.

      1) Need Help?
      2) Malingers. (Or Users/Takers/Disposables, etc.)
      3) Go Die.

      So yes, what happens with those millions of very ill suffers of Long Covid start sleeping on the streets? Even in California, it can get real cold in the AM.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Keep in mind, it is everyone who are not in the 1%. However you come to become needful you are means tested to death because reasons. Breaking Points has a good clip on what and is being done to the first responders from 9/11 and those who dealt with the burn pits during the wars.

        Reply
  21. newcatty

    Exactly. Truly needful people are neglected and denied assistance. The artful and narcissistic users, not truly in need of government assistance play the system. To say, as has been heard, that the working poor should not be begrudged for ” illicit income”, and so not declare income to the tax man, so as to be below the ridiculous poverty line is disingenuous. It is ignoring the working poor who choose not to, or do not have the situation, to manipulate their income to qualify for assistance. Many low income people have actual jobs through employment. They work hard and just get by to pay basic expenses. Included are benefits, such as health insurance. It usually has high deductibles, co-pays. If on Medicaid, no, or very little out of pocket expenses. The working poor either pay for “healthcare” or go without. The many who smugly play the system usually have no sympathy for many in their own cohorts. Tough luck. Its not sufficient to blame that we don’t have universal health care. Indeed, we should. What is gonna happen when more homeless and chronically ill people are on the streets? Future divide and conquer of the people. The grifters ( not just those in upper classes) and the players may get rude awakenings! when homeless people start noticing that people, of obvious low incomes, have health insurance ( Medicaid, includes many on Medicare), decent housing and full freezers, celebrate holidays lavishly. This will be a breaking point. Bless the family who can help their members. Also, a key point those “new” homeless will often not be so fortunate to have family, or else come from abusive or neglectful ones. From the burning pot into the fire.

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  22. KFritz

    “Everyone here” hated the Americans”

    The article is a sample of one village. While there was abundant stupidity and brutality on the part of the American forces and those of the Kabul government, I’d bet that Sinzai was among the worst, and that its inhabitants are among the most grateful to see the backside of the United States and its allied Afghan government.

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  23. Hemanth

    How Other Nations Pay for Child Care. The U.S. Is an Outlier. New York Times. Resilc: “Once not a fetus, you’re on your own, get a job.”

    U.S. is an outlier in more things than not; multiple times profit on medicines, cola drinks, junk food, zero knowledge of geography or the world outside of U.S., metric system, and so on and on. The most fundamental cause that is to be corrected but more likely won’t happen, is this: less emphasis on individualism and more focus on community, including extended families. In short: “we” instead of “I”.

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