Links 1/31/2022

Release of wild cheetahs in Mozambique could be answer to conservation of the species, biologists say ABC

Brrr! It got so cold in Florida, iguanas fell from trees ABC

World’s largest wealth fund warns ‘permanent’ inflation will hit returns FT. “Equities and bonds to suffer as steep rise in rates becomes lasting feature of economy, says Norwegian oil fund boss.”

An Army of Faceless Suits Is Taking Over the $4 Trillion Hedge Fund World Bloomberg

About that big Fed pivot . . .  FT


Incredible video shows Nantucket UNDERWATER as winter storm Kenan barrels through New England: More than 30 inches of snow could fall in parts of Massachusetts Daily Mail. I sure hope Obama’s house is OK.

Concerning uptick in high Arctic lightning PLOS One


Where did Omicron come from? Three key theories Nature

Persistent SARS-CoV-2 Infection with Accumulation of Mutations in a Patient with Poorly Controlled HIV Infection (preprint) SSRN. The Abstract: “A 22-year-old female with uncontrolled advanced HIV infection was persistently infected with SARS-CoV-2 beta variant for 9 months, the virus accumulating >20 additional mutations. Antiretroviral therapy suppressed HIV and cleared SARS-CoV-2 within 6-9 weeks. Increased vigilance is warranted to benefit affected individuals and prevent the emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants.” If I were writing a science fiction novel about the war between viral and human collective intelligence, I’d see HIV as the beachhead, and SARS-CoV-* as the opening offensive….

* * *

New Triumphs & Struggles for Non-Profit Covid Vaxes Hilda Bastian, Absolutely Maybe. Note that the first non-profit vaccine to be strangled in the cradle was a nasal spray, presumably (therefore) sterilizing.

* * *

Thank goodness we did all the work Virology Down Under. Savage irony and well worth a read. That’s Australia. Now, about Canada:

Examples could be multiplied…

Study to look at reducing disease spread in Singapore buildings Straits Times. A civilized country, where “living with Covid” isn’t a euphemism for dying from it.

Why Churches Should Drop Their Online Services Tish Harrison Warren, NYT. I had not hitherto been aware that John 20:22 included aerosol transmission as a desideratum Church services take place in closed, crowded, close contact spaces, and often include congregational and choral singing, known to transmit. Building idolatry aside — Warren makes no mention of ventilation — the op-ed throws the house-bound and disabled under the bus too, permanently, good job.

Omicron Pushes Health Authorities Toward Learning to Live With Covid-19 WSJ. Not only does our ruling class have its story, they’re sticking to it, and they want the entire world to stick to their story, too. It’s understandable. I would, too, if I had done what they have done.


China’s zero-COVID strategy: what happens next? Nature. “Throughout the pandemic, China’s international borders have effectively been closed, preventing almost anyone from getting in or out. That has kept daily cases in the country in the hundreds or fewer, rather than the hundreds of thousands of daily cases recently seen in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.” Clearly, China needs to create some sacrifice zones among the populace, like liberal democracies do.

China punishes cold-chain managers for ‘obstructing’ COVID prevention Reuters. China is said to have cases (although the possiblity was mooted in New Zealand, and ruled out).

China bans Australian meatworks at centre of Covid outbreak Business Times


Myanmar’s National Unity Government: A Radical Arrangement to Counteract the Coup ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Worth a read. “Arrangements” like a constitution from NUG:

At a three-day conference; amazing they lived to tell the tale. A new Constitution is far beyond anything the now-irrelevant Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD proposed.

Myanmar Junta Arrests and Threatens Shop Owners Over Planned Silent Strike The Irrawaddy

Myanmar has approved $3.8 billion in foreign investment since a coup a year ago, its military government said on Thursday Reuters. Gas, mostly.

Sri Lanka ‘trying all options’ to avoid default, says finance minister FT


Sensing Opportunity in Syria, U.A.E. Leads Arab Efforts to Do Business With Assad WSJ


The Man Trying to Take Down Boris Johnson New York Magazine

António Costa wins big in Portugal’s general election Politico

New Cold War

Will Ukrainians Fight? Awful Avalanche. Commentary:

Russia’s ‘asymmetrical’ war over Ukraine M. K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline

The West Leaves Mummy’s Basement Patrick Armstrong. Link-heavy round-up.

Putin’s next move Unherd

US and UK escalate Russia war fever, but NATO splits over Ukraine emerge (podcast) Richard Sakwa, Pushback with Aaron Mate. Interesting backstory on the Trump administration.

Biden Administration

US finalising sanctions against Russia over Ukraine aggression FT

Scoop: Inside Biden aides’ China fight Axios

Homeland Security Adviser Shaped Cyber Strategy Despite Financial Interests The Intercept

The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon NYT

Supply Chain

Outdated Laws Governing Undersea Cables Need Modernizing gCaptain

The Bezzle

The Inevitability of Trusted Third Parties Cory Doctorow. “if: problem + blockchain = problem – blockchain then: blockchain = 0.” A must-read, and read all the way to the end.

More Than 80% of NFTs Created for Free on OpenSea Are Fraud or Spam, Company Says Vice. Film at 11.

The NFT Art World Wouldn’t Be the Same Without This Woman’s ‘Wide-Awake Hallucinations’ Rolling Stone. Commentary:

Crypto Kings Are the Real-Estate Industry’s Newest Whales WSJ


Senators push for Medicare to reimburse at-home COVID-19 tests like commercial insurers Healthcare Finance. ZOMG it doesn’t already? This Becerra dude is such a no-show.

While UnitedHealth reports $24 Billion in profits, Americans faced 200% increases in out-of-pockets over last decade Wendell Potter, NOW

Groves of Academe

That’s a lot of administrators:


Different universities, I grant. But still.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Florida trucker in Canada convoy: ‘We’re here to join a movement’ Freight Waves. Not sure why a proof-of-concept that the supply chain is an enormous chokepoint comes with right-wing ideological markers, and in the midst of a unionizing upsurge, too, but here we are. DItto the Capitol seizure, if it comes to that. As I keep saying, conservatives are serious about their politics…..

Guillotine Watch

The moral calculations of a billionaire WaPo

Class Warfare

You Don’t Use Google, Google Uses You! (With Prof. Shoshana Zuboff) (podcast) Russel Brand, Under the Skin

Child care workers are vanishing and it’s hurting the entire economy CNN. Hence the PMC’s desire to park their children in schools.

Op-Ed: What can Houston teach Los Angeles about solving homelessness? Los Angeles Times

XXX-Files: Who Torched the Pornhub Palace? Vanity Fair

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Incredible video shows Nantucket UNDERWATER as winter storm Kenan barrels through New England: More than 30 inches of snow could fall in parts of Massachusetts”

    I was looking at that video and I suddenly wondered if this was a glimpse of the future that we are heading towards. I mean that with sea levels rising, this is what we would expect Nantucket to look like all the time and add in the freaky weather as climate change disrupts weather patterns too. So by all this, what I mean to say is that video could very well be showing everyday life in Nantucket by, oh I don’t know, 2035 maybe?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Who pays to fix up the mansions after the flooding recedes? What do the federal flood insurance premiums for these wealthy enclavistas look like? I

        1. clarky90

          Our, The Vanguard Group (the tip of the spear) are not affected, nor do they fear, climate change. That is why they live in mansions by the beach, and drive to work in gas guzzling, Private Jets………

      2. The Rev Kev

        What I meant in my comment was that before long, the water would stay and not retreat like it has in the past and that it would be permanently flooded.

    1. Kent

      Go ask Obama, I think he’ll know,
      When Logic and Proportion rule the show…

      The man with access to the best intelligence and scientific knowledge in the world bought sea level property in Martha’s Vineyard, is that anywhere Nantucket? Oh, and bought sea level property in Hawaii too.

      But you go ahead and keep shrieking alarms. Nice distraction from the inflation flooding your wallet and other things you’re not supposed to notice.

      1. Patrick Donnelly

        Spot on.
        The Earth will, once again, expand. Probably only 5 to 10%, this time. All continental crust is the original crust of the planet.

        Sea shore property will then be inland, even after more water erupts from the Ringwoodite inside the Earth. Being sea shore, it will then have the additional land attached to it, for ownership purposes.
        Ben Davidson suggests the Nova will be in 2042. I say 2053.

        However, populations will be slimmed down…. so overall, more land, less $$$ !!!

      2. Lost in OR

        Kent, sorry bud, but your post is evidence that this site is garnering too much attention. WTF are you saying? That the big 0 bought sea-level property therefore climate change cannot be a thing? You’re wasting our time. Don’t go away mad, just…

  2. vao

    Regarding the “Inevitability of Trusted Third Parties” by Cory Doctorow: Those trusted third parties (or umpires, or arbiters) who certify that the merchandise transacted in a contract (smart or not) corresponds to the description (in the blockchain or on the paper) have been existing as formal, established businesses since, well, the XIXth century.

    Look up SGS. If you order, say, a large shipment of bio broken orange pecoe from Sri Lanka and want to be sure that what will be transported in the container from Trincomalee corresponds to what you ordered, then you ask SGS (for a fee) to check and certify the cargo.

    Firms like SGS constitute yet another essential cog in the complex apparatus that is the worldwide supply chain. I wonder what their assessment of blockchain technology may be — probably a lot more sober than the hype about “smart contracts”.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    China’s zero-COVID strategy: what happens next? Nature. “Throughout the pandemic, China’s international borders have effectively been closed, preventing almost anyone from getting in or out. That has kept daily cases in the country in the hundreds or fewer, rather than the hundreds of thousands of daily cases recently seen in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.” Clearly, China needs to create some sacrifice zones among the populace, like liberal democracies do.

    China punishes cold-chain managers for ‘obstructing’ COVID prevention Reuters. China is said to have cases (although the possiblity was mooted in New Zealand, and ruled out).

    First off, its not quite true to say that China’s international borders have been effectively been closed. I know several people who have visited China, or left China and returned, some multiple times since Covid. They have to quarantine, which is obviously a serious hindrance and expense, but for many Chinese thats just an annoyance, not a barrier. Some just pay a little extra to make sure they have a very comfortable quarantine with good wifi so they can carry on business. The main hindrance is needing a clear test, and I know some who have had to repeatedly postpone trips because of false positives. I know people who have had far more problems getting into Japan than into China. There has, of course, been no border issue whatever for exports, and restrictions on imports only when it suits officialdom or domestic business.

    As for the cold chain issue, I doubt the Chinese seriously believe that chilled food is a significant source of infection. It is, however, very important for domestic messaging that covid is seen as something that is ‘coming from outside’. From the very beginning of covid, the government was either starting, or tolerating all sorts of CT about the virus originating from the US. When that was semi-officially dropped, they consistently blame foreigners in one way or another – either migrant workers, ethnic minorities, or (and this also fits in with an ongoing narrative), luxury imported foods like Norwegian salmon.

    1. jsn

      So they have that “othering” device locked down. The IMF advising them to kill more of their people is just icing on the cake.

      I’ve been tracking Russia and Japan as proxies for Neoliberal states with strong state capability and they’re both struggling with Omicron, it will be interesting to see how that evolves, but so far the pure State Capitalism of China appears the winning model: keeps the prols healthy and employed while feeling superior to those foreigners and thus more charitable towards CCP.

      I don’t have the skills to disaggregate US GDP, but I would expect growth in the last two years to be in Finance, non-productive, Med Insurance, parasitical, Med Industry, profiting from death and disease and Pharma, profiteering from death and disease (all with an overlay of PE, gorging on death and disease). So US Neoliberalism is advanced to the stage that death and disease are leading economic growth sectors. The parsimonious, “they really are trying to kill us all” gets harder and harder to rebut.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I think if you look at countries that have succeeded you can draw a lot of contrasting conclusions – centre left governments like ROK, Bhutan, Taiwan and Portugal have done a pretty good job, and so have very authoritarian left(ish) States like Vietnam and China. But others of similar ilk have done really badly. Even some right wing horrible states like in the Gulf have done a fairly reasonable job. Neoliberalism seems the secret sauce for those countries guaranteed to have screwed up.

        As you suggest, the economic base makes a real difference. But a lot depends on their particular interpretation of what the right thing to do might be. Some tourism dependent countries went all out for suppression, some went into full denial. Sometimes they did both at the same time. Why Sweden went for its particular road is a mystery to me. Or why Denmark did all the right things, until it went into full denial and screwed up massively over Omicron.

        The only conclusion is that this virus is masterful at exploiting any weak link in a society.

    2. Lee

      Interview (4 minutes) with ProPublica’s Caroline Chen on PBS Newshour includes an account of her recent trip to visit family in Hong Kong.

      On the one hand, she experienced inconveniences upon entry while on the other she was quite appreciative of the more carefree atmosphere of being in a Covid free environment. She did make the de rigueur references to the economic costs of a zero Covid policy, but she also mentioned the comparative body counts, which to my mind might cause a viewer to at least glance in the direction of a road not taken.

    3. Skunk

      I think it’s possible that cold chain transportation methods could occasionally cause transmission. As dry ice sublimates, it seems possible that someone unpacking the box, truck, container, etc. could potentially breathe in a certain amount of virus. Just speculation…I’m not by any means an expert in cold chain technology. However, viruses can survive for long periods in cold, dark environments. Also, meat packing plants apparently use dry ice:

      If infections do occasionally arise from cold chain work, this by no means validates the ridiculous idea that the SARS-CoV-2 virus entered China through cold chain products.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Truly weird times when there are like 8 phone numbers for you to call if you as an adult encounter an idea you dislike

    Would it be too far from the truth to say that that sign illustrates why higher American education costs so much to the point that you have teaching staff living out of their cars teaching students who will carry the debt of their education for the next coupla decades? That board does not look so much look like a number of individualized help contacts but looks basically like an employment program.

      1. michael Fiorillo

        As is the existence of a “Vice President For Inclusive Excellence,” combining Identitarian and B-School cliches…

    1. Larry Carlson

      And the sign looks to belong to Colorado State University, which is in theory a lower cost alternative to some of the fancier institutions out there. I find it discouraging that despite the large number of U.S. universities, there’s not much variation in their offerings. I’d be excited to see attempts to:
      1) Offer three-year bachelor’s degrees, which would also eliminate the hodgepodge of largely useless classes known as the core curriculum.
      2) Spin off expensive, non-amateur college sports to form minor leagues.
      3) Treat college students like adults: locate colleges in larger cities and have them focus solely on providing education. No student housing, no campus police, and none of the bloated administration that micromanages students’ daily lives.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner


        1.) Bachelor’s degrees are based on credit hours.
        2.) The G-League has made moves this way. With the NIL and allowances for baseball in place, it wouldn’t be a shock if college baseball moved into a proper hybrid. Isn’t college hockey pretty much this way?
        3.) Rutgers springs to mind, but besides community colleges, there are of course on line schools, and schools more known for engineering flavor have over towards programs similar to European counterparts while keeping Harvard style classes.

        1. Larry Carlson

          1) Correct, but the number of credit hours is generally aligned with four years of study – to graduate in three years requires some combination of a heavy courseload, AP or dual enrollment credit, and summer school (and may not reduce cost substantially).
          3) As you perceived, I do lean towards the continental European model. I don’t think it has caught on in the U.S. with four-year institutions.

    2. jsn

      “A free speech event”.

      Wow, just wow, what a framing!

      Those things pop up uncontrollably!! Let us help you help us put an end to this irregularity!

      1. jr

        Soooooo….I would immediately call them up and declare that I’m about to be affected by a free speech event. When they asked what’s happening I would say “This call.” and hang up.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Don’t you know that failing to take the danger of free speech events seriously is a sign of bigotry?


    3. Pavel

      I’m sure those adjunct professors on a career to nowhere (no tenure) and paid a pittance are thrilled to see that there is a VP for Inclusivity Excellence.

      And no doubt a VP In Charge of Coming Up With These Positions.

      Tuition is $31K btw.

    4. racaraca

      Yes it would be extremely far off from the truth – the concept may be stupid but half of those administrators would be on the payroll anyway, and all of them cost a fraction of what American schools dispose via sports stadiums or other cultish accoutrements. American higher education costs are a consequence of the market gradually growing like a cancer over what was one of the last sacred cows against capitalist exploitation there, and they’re ignored largely because a) the only things Americans consider essential ‘human rights’ now are being able to watch pornography and shoot trespassers, and b) churning out workers burdened with crushing debt pushes them into the workforce while taking away any stability they might leverage into unionizing/striking/whatever. The latter was an accidental byproduct of the orgiastic moneygrab pillaging everything that wasn’t already fully privatized during the Reagan/Thatcher years, but hegemony functions by accumulating and sustaining those kinds of functional byproducts, so at this point its been promoted from bug to feature. Looking at the land holdings/endowments of Ivy League schools is already enough to show how absurd the idea of tuition costs having any relation to operating fees is, while also provoking a cosmic sense of despair in anyone who managed to make it through 2021 without it.

  5. Wukchumni

    Crypto Kings Are the Real-Estate Industry’s Newest Whales WSJ
    in the white heat of the Mississippi land bubble in the 1720’a shares had peaked @ 10,000 Livres (essentially = to a £) after the ‘IPO’ @ 500 Livres, and within 18 months of the peak was back down to the IPO price, and any of the gamblers could’ve taken their money and run in the interim period, but so few do.

    One of my friends I ski with was relating of somebody she knew who bought a $3 million house in Mammoth, paid in full by the seller cashing in on Bitcoin profits.

    The word ‘Whale’ comes from Vegas and in gambling parlance means somebody is a huge bettor and those cashing in virtual winnings for something real are hardly gambling, and I say oh happy day to those getting out while the getting is still good, and make sure you cash in enough for property taxes for about 5 years in the future, oh how an annual $30k property tax bill would suck!

    1. Objective Ace

      >and make sure you cash in enough for property taxes for about 5 years in the future, oh how an annual $30k property tax bill would suck!

      Not to mention the capital gains tax on that ~ 3 million in gains due the following year. Many people assume they’ll be able to just sell more [insert bubbled asset] when that time comes. Unfortunately, as some bag holders during the dot com crash found out, the bubble may have already popped.

    2. griffen

      That is some remarkable real estate in the journal article. I’ve read here and elsewhere that southern FL is becoming a mecca of sorts for the newer breed of crypto winners to buy up real estate, penthouses and ultra exclusive condo. I’m guessing in southern FL where they’ve bought, well the property tax surely isn’t going to derail the planned purchase.

  6. Tom Stone

    Anecdata,I spoke to my Sister yesterday, she’s a retired nurse who lives in the CA foothills.
    Three friends came down with Covid after Christmas, all fully vaxxed, all in their 40’s and healthy.
    All had serious symptoms lasting at least 3 weeks,none hospitalised because hospitals are slammed.

    And about the war fever attacking the MSM, from what I’m seeing the dogs have no taste for the dog food.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      What type of sane country would allow a healthcare? provider a 24 billion annual profit?
      That is just one of dozens.
      The whole situation is just effed to the core.

      1. ANTIDLC

        >>What type of sane country would allow a healthcare? provider a 24 billion annual profit?

        Also, from the same article by Wendell Potter

        (Most of United’s membership and revenue growth now comes from the company’s Medicare Advantage plans and the state Medicaid programs it manages. In other words, from us as taxpayers.)

  7. John

    The Obama’s house is on MV, not Nantucket. MV has a long history of welcoming people of color, even during the reign of Jim Crow. Nantucket does not–even now.
    I really don’t understand your comment.

    1. Milton

      Perhaps in policy but the numbers show otherwise. 2021 census data shows Nantucket Island with a population of 11,534, (9,296 white and 1,246 black) . Martha’s Vineyard having a population of 18,314 with only 894 black.

    2. lambert strether

      I am fully aware that the Obama’s compound in on the Vineyard, about thirty miles west of Nantucket. However — follow me closely, here — both islands are off the Atlantic’s Nantucket Sound, and so I would expect storm events in one to affect the other.

      Yes, I am aware that Oak Bluffs was an enclave for the talented tenth for many years, and kudos to them. Amusingly, Obama chose to purchase his real estate in Edgartown.

    3. chuck roast

      Nantucket folk had a long history of catching whales on the seven oceans. Their ships were nothing else if not an amalgam of the races. Over time the descendants of the oarsmen, flensers, dippers and other members of the lower whaling orders may well have left the island due to the relentless gentrification. But don’t confuse the long inter-racial history of these maritime people with the current state of affairs.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Sensing Opportunity in Syria, U.A.E. Leads Arab Efforts to Do Business With Assad”

    Only the UAE or Saudi Arabia could do this as Washington has made it illegal to rebuild Syria and will punish any country that tries to help them. I think that SecState Blinken also said this about two or three days ago. But the UAE is a big client state for Washington who can hardly be sanctioned without excessive costs to Washington.

    But I think that Syria will always remember that the other Arab states abandoned them and sided with Washington’s attempt to destroy them. I think that only Iran (which isn’t even an Arabic country) and Hezbollah (which is an internal force in Lebanon) came to their aid from the Arab world.

    Just in passing, I read something funny today. The Gulf States have told Lebanon that they will only establish good relations with Lebanon if they disarm Hezbollah as part of one of ten confidence-building measures. As Hezbollah is the only thing stopping the Israelis invading Lebanon yet again, they told the Gulf states to forget it.

  9. Wukchumni

    Florida trucker in Canada convoy: ‘We’re here to join a movement’ Freight Waves.

    In some measure the convoy in Canada bears resemblance to the Trump truck rallies in that it doesn’t take that many vehicles to make a statement, as it plays big.

    Here in tiny town in 2020 about 30 trucks festooned with Trumpinalia went up and down Hwy 198 a number of times in a show of really lack of force, when you consider only 45 people were involved, but it seemed impressive.

    1. russell1200

      Is that the idea behind: “Not sure why a proof-of-concept that the supply chain is an enormous chokepoint comes with right-wing ideological markers, and in the midst of a unionizing upsurge, too, but here we are. DItto the Capitol seizure, if it comes to that. As I keep saying, conservatives are serious about their politics…..” ?

      I see a fair number of non-right folks who, if not anti-vax, are “let’s throw in the towel and get on with life”. I recall, precovid, that the anti-vax crowd had as much a left component as anything else. I say this all in a very anecdotal way. This is particularly true of parents who need the school system to watch their kids while they are at work.

      1. Milton

        Can we please acknowledge a differenciatiation between anti-vax and anti vaccine mandate and that the convoy message is mainly anti mandate? To state the demonstrations as anti-vax is intentionally muddying any nuance–hence, any reasonable debate that should be occurring with any potential Covid policy action.

      2. flora

        An aside: Musk’s gotta love this truck convoy since it makes his imagined driverless/autopilot trucks look so much more attractive to govts and freight companies. He knows a good sales pitch opportunity when he sees one, even if it’s wrapped in pretending to support the convoy, imo. / ;)

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      30 trucks or 1000 trucks won’t matter.

      cnbc has just announced that max vaxxed and boosted justin trudeau has “tested positive for covid” and will be governing…er…”working” remotely. Oh, and avoiding the issue altogether.

      He’s feeling “fine” by the way.

      Hard to see how this “pandemic” ever goes away when it comes in so handy in politically sticky situations like campaigning or actual governance. Let’s go, justin.

      1. HotFlash

        Well you see, Justin T can actually get a test. The rest of us? No, we can’t. But since they won’t treat us anyway, it really doesn’t matter. I do wonder if young JT is just getting Tylenol or maybe something that actually works?

        1. CanCyn

          I was thinking the same thing Hot Flash! How would I, a lowly prole, know if I had a mild case COVID living here in eastern Ontario, two hours away from our nation’s capital and JT’s home? Unless I’m sick enough to go to the hospital, no test for me. I don’t have school age kids so no tests from the school board, I am retired so no tests from an employer, I am not on twitter so didn’t know about pop-up test giveaways, I refused to stand in line in the freezing cold for test giveaways that I did know about. It is ridiculous. What are all these politicians thinking? I don’t know, but I am fairly certain it isn’t the health and well-being of the majority of citizens of their countries.

  10. griffen

    Tweet shown above, represents all going well for college sports but not necessarily the college’s actual faculty and staff. Goodness the amount of money and donors showering much of that money in the past 20 years! For whatever reason today, I could not really see much in the replies or was blocked from viewing them.

    When faced with a losing coach at a historically winning program, donors always find money to pay the loser to walk and more money to hire the next uber-winner and supposed leader of men (ref., Urban Meyer). Some college programs can seemingly move mountains to retain a head coach. And lastly, I watch a lot of college sports and have for years!

    Only in the last year, as covered here by J-LS, have the supposed amateurs playing at an elite level been able to also receive limited value or endorsement dollars. Well, in most cases the name image likeness value is or appears limited.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Child care workers are vanishing and it’s hurting the entire economy CNN.

    “I think [support for child care] is super-critical,” said Kay Larson, director of the Early Childhood Services Division. “It’s difficult when working parents don’t have some place that they trust for their children to have a quality early childhood experience and makes them productive members of the workforce.”

    This pisses me off every time I read about it. You have to wonder if this would even be an issue if there was an unlimited supply of childless burger flippers and uber drivers just clambering to work for a non-living wage.

    In its most absurd iteration, the proposed “solution” is that the government should make a “law” that a family spends “no more than 7% of its income” hiring somebody to take care of their kids so they can become “productive members of the workforce” taking care of somebody else’s kids. Can you say “clusterfuck”???

    Having recognized “childcare” as a “job” requiring adequate compensation, the solution is “revolutionary”–cut out the middle man and pay people to care for their own children. Put them on the federal “health insurance” while you’re at it. You can do the same for the other caregiver “careers” being “created” every month is this “booming economy” like elder and disabled care. Problem solved.

    1. c_heale

      Why aren’t these people looking after their own children. The fact that people employ others to look after their own children is a sign there is something very wrong with our society.

    1. AndrewJ

      Halfway there? Good. Bring it on. Either we get enshrined in written law the dog-eat-dog every-man-for-himself screw-the-poor reality of federal government as it actually exists, hastening the day when a majority of our fellow citizens realize the nightmare that the United States is, or we end up in Greer’s hypothesized stalemate of a Convention, broken by an amendment that dissolves the Union. Either way it’s progress away from the pointless donkey and elephant show we have now.

      1. Oh

        The Koch brother is licking his lips and sharpening his knives and is looking forward to the convention.

    2. Skunk

      I know someone (a recognized expert) who has been warning about this danger for years. He’s sounded the alarm as loudly as he can, but as you say, the risk is not on most people’s radar.

  12. Wukchumni

    Sports ottoman umpire:

    Great game @ ‘knapped obsidian’ stadium in KC as the Cincinnati Bengals came back from way down to upset the Chiefs, who in theory have an ok Native American name in that we’re cool with it-along with the Atlanta Braves, quite something to aspire to, those monikers.

    The Cleveland Indians having settled for a 1-size fits all Native American name screwed themselves in 1914 by adopting it little did they know over a century later would they end up with the iffiest new name in pro sports, the Cleveland Guardians, on account of not going upscale initially.

    1. griffen

      Speaking of sports team monikers, the Washington Football Team is due to release their new team name this week. Good on Cleveland but then again, my association is to the film series as opposed to the so-close yet no cigar MLB franchise (arguably should’ve won in 1997).

      The Chiefs must’ve copied the 2nd half playbook from the Falcons debacle in SB 51st edition. Establish lead, allow petulant opposing team back into game. And in scoring position with time remaining to spare, fool your opponent into a false confidence. All those NFL teams wishing to hire from the KC staff, the phone lines are open.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: While UnitedHealth reports $24 Billion in profits, Americans faced 200% increases in out-of-pockets over last decade Wendell Potter, NOW

    I want Wendell Potter’s job. He gets to write the same article quarter after quarter, year after year as if it’s “news,” and apparently makes money at it.

    No one’s listening, Wendell. Check out what’s living in the white house and crawling around the halls of congress.

  14. Andrew

    You see, if Alice pays her mortgage to Carol via the blockchain, then Erin and Dan can have a smart contract based on those payments. If Alice misses a payment, the smart contract can see that — because it’s all on-chain — and settle Erin and Dan’s wager instantly and automatically.

    As reference applications go, this isn’t very promising. The last thing we need are more complex financial derivatives. 14 years after the Great Financial Crisis, we still have a vast surplus of those.

    Glad to see more people realizing the same thing I did a few weeks ago that smart contracts are pretty much only good for automating fraud and theft. Someone replied that they could also be good for making lots and lots of exotic financial instruments, which, well, I remember watching some film where someone designed an automated system to make irrevocable decisions with no possibility of human interference. I think he was named Strangelove?

  15. Wukchumni

    Many of the cities with the largest year-over-year rent spikes are medium-size cities with more modest incomes.

    At the top is Fresno, CA, where the median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments in January skyrocketed by 28% in 12 months, and by 41% in two years, from $1,000 in January 2020 to $1,410 in January 2022 (Wolf Street)

    I’ve been guilty of belittling Fresno and for once they’re #1 (holds oversized foam hand aloft with one digit pointing upwards) in something, even though all it really means is they’re getting the exodus from the really Big Smokes who can’t afford the coastal cost of living since the pandemic started, even though rents in SF have fallen (-23%) on a percentage basis nearly as much as Fresno rents have gone up (+ 28%)

    The Fresno zoo is nice they tell me, I wonder what the inhabitants think of the human comedy passing by?

    1. Late Introvert

      Des Moines was, for a time, the #2 Meth City in the US, second only to Wichita. My crowd would crow about it. Des Moines: #2 In The Nation

  16. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    The question of whether and when and how to have in-person services has been the most vexing question among my church’s leadership. We have continually erred on the side of caution and continually shelved plans to open back up. The situation changes constantly and we’ve not exactly been given clear guidance by our public health officials. It’s clear that the isolation has been very hard on many people, particularly families with children. And I personally miss singing with a group of my fellow congregants.

    That being said, we are never going to stop holding online services. It’s a way a reaching people that we couldn’t before. And yes, we do try to reach out to folks who are home-bound. But there’s no question that online services have allowed people who otherwise would have been alone to be connected to the larger congregation. And it’s not only folks who can’t come to church because of illness or other difficulties. We have people who live in other states and other countries who attend our online services regularly.

    Is it perfect? Of course not. Do most of want to meet in person? Absolutely. But I honestly don’t understand Harrison Warren’s disdain for online services. As my minster has said repeatedly, hybrid — both online and in-person at the same time — services are here to stay.

  17. AW

    I have a small quibble with the virologydownunder article. The suggestion that ‘[…] in the meantime, work on flu, common cold and other respiratory viruses was explored more closely […]’ is something of the past two years is incorrect. Here are two reviews that I came across within a week of investigating the matter over a year ago:

    R. Tellier. Review of aerosol transmission of influenza A virus. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12:1657–1662, 2006.

    J. Gralton, E. Tovey, et al. The role of particle size in aerosolised pathogen transmission: A review. The Journal of Infection 62:1–13, 2011.

    I can’t remember if these articles are open access, but the following quotes are from the respective articles:

    ‘Despite the evidence cited in support of aerosol transmission, many guidelines or review articles nevertheless routinely state that “large droplets transmission is thought to be the main mode of influenza transmission”’

    ‘In line with these observations and logic, current dichotomous infection control precautions should be updated to include measures to contain both modes of aerosolised transmission.’

    These are not obscure articles in obscure journals.

  18. R

    I see a lot of general support on NC for New Zealand and it’s closed border approach – as an NZ’er abroad during this, it’s starting to wear thin.

    I’ve been unable to get back to the country for 6 months now – getting home means entering a ‘lottery’ with something like 10 – 1 odds of securing a place in the border quarantine system. While in my case, it has mostly just been a frustration, there’s a trail of horrors that a closed border like this leaves behind it.

    It’s an incredibly traumatic thing for anyone whose life or family isn’t neatly contained within a single country – and in New Zealand thats a lot of people – 1 million kiwis abroad, 5 million in the country. It’s not just people with professional careers that leave, there are large migrant populations there from south east asia and the pacific islands whose families are often spread across New Zealand, Australia, and another country of origin.

    People have had to watch their parents die over zoom… People with severe medical conditions, pregnancies, and family emergencies have been unable to return home (or leave… because you can’t get back in).

    And for a lot of people theres just a general sick nagging feeling that the country has ‘solved’ its covid problem by shutting them out. If the pandemic doesn’t get them… I want to *family blog* murder my fellow country-persons when i finally make it back in at this point, no joke!

    In the early days it seemed like a great idea… NZ lived covid free for a year after a hard initial lockdown to stop the spread (only a handful of cases really made it in at first), and it was a win because vaccines arrived reasonably promptly (though NZ was around 3 months behind the world rolling them out).

    Now in the post vaccine world where the country’s ‘reopening’ has been delayed first by delta, and now by omicron, it’s starting to become questionable how much of a good idea border controls are.

    Firstly, it is divisive and horribly traumatic for a lot of people.

    Secondly, even when they quarantine system is well run (NZ is thorough if nothing else!) it still doesn’t really work with more transmissible variants. Delta got through within a couple of months, Omicron within 2-4 weeks.

    Is denying citizens free movement really worth it to buy an extra month head start against the next few years worth of variants? Assuming that’s even legal… which is being challenged in the courts in NZ over coming months.

    Besides boosters – which will take months to get widespread coverage, it’s not clear what NZ can or will do to combat Omicron outside of measures other countries with an open border are also doing.

    Their reliance on the border has meant, if anything, the government has skimped on preparing the health system. Also at times, the quarantine facilities given over to uninfected vaccinated travellers would have better served infected people from the domestic population.

    You could argue that the problems with the NZ quarantine system are fixable… But it’s not as easy a system to scale up as you would think – not if you want it not to have leaks, and to be able to properly cater to health needs on site.

    As it becomes clearer covid will spread through the majority of the population in the western world (and lets see how the east holds up over time), theres a risk that countries like NZ with very low infection based immunity actually become more vulnerable, especially if there is a variant that is both more transmissible and more deadly.

    In my opinion at least, this pandemic will extract a toll before it ends, and it can not be avoided – we will need herd immunity from a mixture of vaccination and infection. Vaccinations alone do not seem to be up to the job, although they do ‘de-fang’ the virus thankfully.

    At this point, the value of NZ’s quarantine system and closed border approach is questionable, the social costs are mounting up. There’s a reason its not recommended by the WHO.

      1. R

        Herd immunity in the sense that enough people have had it (+ been vaccinated) and built up immunity that, although it still circulates, it’s not considered a societal risk, there aren’t mass infections, and it’s rare for people to end up in hospital.

        At this point, much less insane a theory for how this will end than the idea the virus will be eliminated!

        1. Jeotsu

          And three months ago we had no idea Omicron existed. We have no idea what else is brewing out there.
          The virus is reality. Our declaration of what we wish was true doesn’t matter at all.
          And the more widely the virus is circulating, the more opportunity there is for evolution, mutations, and changes we won’t like.
          Look at 17th century London. The Black Death rolled through the city ~50 times that century. Is that the kind of herd immunity we’ll be hoping for?

    1. Jeotsu

      As a Kiwi with (elderly) parents overseas, I’m well aware that in this new world if something goes wrong, I probably won’t be able to get to their bedside.

      The NZ government has been taking Covid semi-seriously–not as hardcore as China, but they haven’t given up (yet). On Radio NZ this morning we had the spokesperson for the tourism industry demanding to know when we’ll be opening up, and declaring that Omicron peaks in a few weeks and then is done, so we’ll all be fine, right? Madness. But the western-worldview approved madness.

      I think NZ should try thinking outside the box in terms of solutions to get people home. Contract otherwise empty cruise ships to be slow quarantine boats home. Maybe?

      Nobody wants to accept that we have many years left to go in this pandemic. They want the happy normality bias of it will be fine again. Soon. As soon as we declare it to be fine.

      I’ve come to see it as a mass cultural expression of financialization. We’ve spent 15 years in an economy complete detached from any physical reality, anything can be fixed or broken on the whim of policy makers and central bankers. So reality is now politics. And in politics you can make a problem go away by ignoring it. So they try to ignore covid, and are baffled when the problem persists.

      1. R

        It would be nice to be able to enter the country without resorting to crazy boat tricks.

        Like I said, the border isn’t doing much, elimination no longer seems realistic.

        NZ is gonna have to be part of the world eventually, sooner rather than later please!

          1. R

            Well, how exactly do we get to elimination for here then?

            Covid is not just wide spread among humans, but also quite likely circulating and mutating within animal populations.

            None of use really know much of what’s going on in china… But you do have to wonder how sustainable it is to lock down whole cities – with everyone confined to their dwellings and the army delivering food – any time there is a small outbreak.

            Without a coordinated global response (ask your shrink if that’s realistic!) to do something similar in other countries, or a magic versatile sterilizing vaccine… China will eventually cave, or become a slightly mad place – maintaining elimination as a political trophy, even as the social costs and discontent mount up.

            And in the context I do know well – New Zealand – the tools to maintain elimination are now dulled and useless. Lockdowns stopped working under delta because people were sick of them, and subsections of the population started to ignore them completely (including gangs running drugs around the country… one of the vectors for delta transmission).

            The Labour government is still popular, but it has plummeted from the dizzy highs it experienced after the first year of successful elimination. People in Auckland, among the most locked down cities in the world, are seriously over it. There’s growing discontent / embrassment around MIQ and mismanagement of who gets in at the border vs who doesn’t. If the center right party can front a convincing leader they will have a good shot at winning the next election, probably with discontent at restrictions around covid suppression as their main flag to wave – and then NZ will be letting it rip with everyone else!

            So I’m sorry, but when you are shut out of your own home country and separated from your family by supporters of ‘elimination’ you see it in a different light, and apply heavier scrutiny on whether it is possible, or worth the sacrifice.

  19. Daryl

    > Will Ukrainians Fight? Awful Avalanche. Commentary:

    What I find scary is that I’m starting to realize this is how real wars start. I imagine the lead up to WW1, anyone with peaceful inclinations is slowly managed out of government, war seems like pure and avoidable insanity to everyone else, and then someone hauls off and shoots someone and that’s it. The twitter thread linked mentions that a war in Ukraine would have “zero risk” to the chickenhawks in our press and that’s been true of conflicts so far this millenium but is not guaranteed to continue. I wonder if any of these people appreciate the peril they’re putting us all (humans) in.

    1. chuck roast

      And the money quote…

      Kots: Are you sick of reading the British newspapers?

      Vyshinsky: Of course, and others too. Poroshenko and his entire entourage, who are all over Akhmetov’s channels — they are drumming up war hysteria.

      Poroshenko: here we have a guy who has been under indictment for some time in Ukraine who suddenly returns to the country to face possible jail time?

      Picture roast peering into his Infallible roast Crystal Ball which has made him a multi-billionaire by picking long-shots. The fog is clearing…I see Noodles on the phone…she is yelling at one of her subordinates, “Fuck the EU! Petro is our guy!” Place your bets now.

  20. griffen

    The burning to the ground of the pornhub palace article; I was able to track an earlier column from the daily mail which gets you up to speed a bit quicker. It appears the arson, or likely arson, was the work of professionals, not amateurs, and boy that fire must have burned intensely.

    The CEO of the overall company made enemies, and the home was being built (nearing completion) on what is labeled Mafia Row. And if you thought this story featured charges of tax evasion, foosball enthusiasts, amateur founders just graduating fro college & a Keyser Soze reference then you really should continue reading. Holy cow what a story. Smut sells in a pandemic. Shameful tactics by management, in an unseemly industry, should not be a shocking reality.

  21. viewfromnowhere

    Having spent more time in Moscow than anywhere else for the last 20-odd years, with periodic travel to Ukraine, Chris Arnade’s comments about overall calm and normality in Kiev while the outside world comments on how bad things are – that was perfectly normal. The story in Moscow – both on the state telly and related to me personally by hundreds of contacts – was that Russian speakers were routinely rent limb by limb and subjected to verbal, physical and emotional abuse of all kinds. My comments that I’d just returned from Kiev and seen zero evidence of any of that were always rejected out of hand. (Kiev remains mostly a Russian-speaking city – politics in Ukraine are not so very linguistically determined as the outside world seems to think). [Note, I am not claiming that there is never and never has been any of that – but far, far less than Russians think.]

  22. Dave in Austin

    I love NC because it introduces me to sources I’d never heard of. And one of them, had some very interesting news.

    The Yamal pipeline from the Russian Siberian gas fields is the main link into western Europe. It passes through Poland and into Germany and does not through the Ukraine. According to the IndianPunchline posting, the contract for using the pipeline to pump gas from Russia ended in 12/21. Normally in these situations the gas would continue to flow, the negotiators would continue to meet, and when it was over the money would change hands. IndianPunchline says that the gas stopped flowing, which to me explains why the German gas storage numbers are so low- I’d have thought the Germans would keep the tanks topped off.

    So apparently what has happened is that the Russians, faced with the German failure to open the already completed 10+ billion dollar NordStream 2 pipeline, have simply said “Under the contract we are no longer obliged to send you gas. But we will be happy to send it to you via NordStream 2 and sign another contract”. But, for now, Yamla is closed for business.

    So the emergency 20 US LNG ships to Rotterdam suddenly makes sense. As the German supply for home heating runs down in February and March before spring arrives in April, the Germans might be forced to sign the new NordStream contract if reserves get too low. This is a short-term crisis but it masks the long-term issue; Germany really has no choice but to authorize the opening of NordStream 2 to keep German industry humming. In the short term I doubt that there is enough reserve production of LNG worldwide or enough tankers to ship the LNG, to supply Western Europe without using Russian gas. And even if there is, the price Germany will have to pay in a free market will be high.

    So Mr. Putin has moved a series of invisible chess pieces to counter the visible American pieces being sent to the Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government’s obvious annoyance about being put in the middle of the board as a sacrificial pawn for American interests makes total sense. Russia is their neighbor and relative. The Russians are not going away. The waning relative power of the US probably is probably, to some degree, going to recede and most of Europe and the Ukrainian government understands this.

    A story about living next to the Bear. After 1815 Finland became a Grand Duchy in the Russian empire. The Finns were previously controlled by the Swedes and were not really happy with the new arrangement but they cooperated. In 1917-18, the Finns under a Finnish-Russian General, Marshall Mannerheim, broke free and became independent. The new Soviet Government had more important things to worry about so Finland stayed free. In 1938-9, with WW II coming, the Russians demanded control of parts of Finland which were the outer defense ring of Leningrad. Mannerheim, who was essentially the head of an authoritarian democracy, was willing to talk. The public said “No”. The Russians invaded Finnish Karalia. The invasion failed disastrously and there was a cease fire but the Russians still held some Finnish territory. When the Germans invaded the USSR in the summer of 1941 the Finns were on their side.

    That winter Russia was near to collapse and the German Army had come up from the south and essentially cut off Leningrad from the rest of the Soviet Union except for a frozen lake across which trucks and even freight trains could enter Leningrad under occasional artillery fire and air raids. All the Finns had to do was circle the lake from the North and it was over. Unexpectedly they didn’t do so even though they were under a great deal of pressure from the Germans to do so. 900,000 Leningraders died of starvation. But the defenses held.

    The Finnish front stayed static as the Germans were slowly driven back by the Russians. By 1944 the Russian Army was huge, competent and powerful. So in a swift, violent bit of housekeeping in the spring of 1944, the Russians attacked the Finns and inflicted more casualties than the Finns had suffered during the three previous years of war. They were forced to capitulate. Russia could have easily occupied the whole country. They didn’t. American opinion was opposed to it and an occupation might have forced the Swedes into the arms of America and Great Britain. The Finns lost Karalia, had to evacuate the second largest city in Finland and pay a huge war indemnity in industrial and forest products over the next ten years, but they remained free…and neutral.

    The Russians have a long memory and they don’t forgive easily; but they remembered Leningrad in the winter of 1941 and the favor given freely when they were down. You may not like your neighbor, but when his house is burning, you help.

    The USSR was America’s main adversary from 1945 to 1989. But that doesn’t mean Russia should be treated as our enemy for the rest of eternity. The world is moving on and facing new and complex problems unconnected to the Russian revolution, WW II and the Cold War.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I read that article in Smithsonian on lions. I thought it was great. To my mind, the key paragraph:

      Scientists used to believe that prides—groups of a few to more than a dozen related females typically guarded by two or more males—were organized for hunting. Other aspects of the communal lifestyle—the animals’ affinity for napping in giant piles and even nursing each others’ young—were idealized as poignant examples of animal-kingdom altruism. But Packer and his collaborators have found that a pride isn’t formed primarily for catching dinner or sharing parenting chores or cuddling. The lions’ natural world—their behavior, their complex communities, their evolution—is shaped by one brutal, overarching force, what Packer calls “the dreadful enemy.”

      Other lions.

      Know your enemy and know yourself. Who is our “dreadful enemy”?

  23. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “The moral calculations of a billionaire WaPo”

    “He told colleagues that capitalism was like a battle for survival in the African safari and that the key to success was to adopt the mind-set of a lion or a gazelle during a hunt. “When the sun comes up, you’d better be running,”

    But, he left out the other important noteworthy part: “It took a while for Packer to tune into such dramas. When he first visited the Serengeti lions in 1974, he concluded that “lions were really boring.” The laziest of all the cats, they were usually collapsed in a stupor, as if they had just run a marathon, when in reality they hadn’t moved a muscle in 12 hours.”

    Myth making and the production of suitable narratives are important for both the maintenance of consumer confidence and a more general, broad based faith in the orthodoxy of the current standard economic model. So we have stories about how “Science Reveals How Elon Musk Can Work 120 Hours Per Week.

    High skepticism is warranted because,

    The average person who has actually worked 12-14 hour days, with the occasional 16, 18, or 20 hour day added to the mix, probably knows of the real negative effects that activity has on both the mind and the body over a prolonged period of time. For example,

    “Shift work and long work hours increase the risk for reduced performance on the job, obesity, injuries, and a wide range of chronic diseases. In addition, fatigue-related errors could harm patients. Fatigued nurses also endanger others during their commute to and from work. . . . . Scientific evidence is growing that adequate sleep is a biological need for life similar to the need to eat and drink and is critical to maintain life and health and to work safely (Everson, 2009). Sleep duration of 7–8 hours a night is associated with a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, and cerebral vascular accidents as well as reduced risk for injuries and errors (Colten & Altevogt, 2006).”

    “Negative Impacts of Shiftwork and Long Work Hours”

    It is also stated that, “I’ll admit, it’s very hard,” he said. “It’s gotten harder. But the 99 percent can still join the 1 percent. It’s possible with enough luck and commitment.”

    Noting that, normal distributions dictate that only a very small fraction of the 99 per cent will ever join the financial elite that is the 1 per cent, as it is the case with elite athletes, Nobel prize winners, ect..

    Conveniently, the answer to the interrogative, “What’s enough?”, is left unanswered and unexplored, because like all other human belief systems strong faith in the current economic system and its promise of creating the best of all possible worlds, for both the individual and the larger society, is needed, such that, “His faith in the American Dream required him to believe that they could one day occupy his.”

  24. The Rev Kev

    “China bans Australian meatworks at centre of Covid outbreak”

    A strange article this. We have two main shopping chains – Woolworths and Coles. The meat from that meatworks went to Woolworths supermarkets and last week they also banned meat from there until things had been cleared up. So they did the same as China – only earlier. If it was me, I would be sending in the cops to that plant taking testimonies and finding out who ordered sick, infectious workers to stay at work and then hauling them into court.

  25. Late Introvert

    Actual parent with an actual child in school. She could easily stay home – and we are low income (reason for that is that I refuse to do a cubicle job anymore, so I make a lot less doing work that doesn’t kill my soul).

    She was home from March of 2021 through June of 2022 and went from A+ to D- grades. She needs to be in school for her own sake, and honestly I would prefer her to be at home.

    Yes, the wealthy parents who take their kids on plane trips during a pandemic want to park their kids at the local babysitter, I get that. But it’s complicated!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > it’s complicated!

      It is complicated because the Powers That Be do not impose a theory of transmission (Covid is airborne) and hence there is nothing driving schools toward non-pharmaceutical interventions; in this case, ventilation (whether through open windows and doors, Corsi boxes, HEPA filters, or changing HVAC). One can only speculate why this is so, but “democidal elites” is a parsimonious explanation.

      So in fact it’s simple: Make inside air as much like outside air as possible. Accepting this would draw the poison from a lot of the discourse. It’s almost like we don’t want to do that, isn’t it?

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