Links 7/11/2020

Hummingbirds Learn to Count to Find Their Favorite Flowers Smithsonian

Country diary: mighty oaks have sprung from the work of the lively jay Guardian

Famished NYC Rats Are Harassing Outdoor Diners Forbes

From payments to armaments: the double life of Wirecard’s Jan Marsalek FT (Richard Smith). Quite a lead: “It was early 2018 when Jan Marsalek, the young chief operating officer of German fintech champion Wirecard, held a meeting in his palatial home in Munich to talk about a new special project he was interested in: recruiting 15,000 Libyan militiamen.” Second paragraph: “Mr Marsalek has now vanished…” Richard Smith comments: “Wirecard just keeps on giving.”

Sovereign Creditors Must Not Rewrite the Rules During the Pandemic Project Syndicate

Most hedge funds to be allowed to keep equity holdings secret FT


CDC Whistleblower Identified the “Fatal Flaw” in Testing Years Ago POGO. Important.

A WHO-led mission may investigate the pandemic’s origin. Here are the key questions to ask Science

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About One-Third of Public Comfortable Returning to ‘Normal Routine’ — Roughly the Same Figure Since May Morning Consult

Coronavirus, unemployment, uncertainty imperil Texas workers: ‘It trickles down’ Los Angeles Times

Dozens of Mississippi lawmakers have coronavirus after weeks of refusing to wear masks CNN. Experience is a hard school…

Vigilance Had a Three-Month Shelf Life The Atlantic

America Is Being Way Too Calm About Covid-19 Cathy O’Neil, Bloomberg

Case study:

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BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) PNAS. From the abstract: “[E]very 10% increase in the BCG index, [an estimation of the degree of universal BCG vaccination deployment in a country,] was associated with a 10.4% reduction in COVID-19 mortality. Results fail to confirm the null hypothesis of no association between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality, and suggest that BCG could have a protective effect. Nevertheless, the analyses are restricted to coarse-scale signals and should be considered with caution.”

COVID-19 and blood type: What’s the link? Los Angeles Times

HIV-1 did not contribute to the 2019-nCoV genome NLM

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Studies Track Superspreading of COVID-19 WebMD

Air Conditioning May Be Spreading COVID WebMD (Furzy Mouse)

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US bets on untested company to deliver COVID-19 vaccine AP

Personal Protective Pods are Here Core 77 (Re Silc).

Redesigning society after Covid-19 FT

Pandemic Threatens to Kill More From Hunger Than Infection Bloomberg


China lays claim to a wildlife sanctuary, making it the third border dispute with Bhutan Straits Times

Leninists in a Chinese Factory Made in China

Hong Kong police raid office of pro-democracy camp primary election co-organisers PORI Hong Kong Free Press

Indonesia seizes two Chinese boats after body of man found aboard South China Morning Post

Singapore election latest: How the night unfolded Nikkei Asian Review.

Empty offices growing in Tokyo as virus gives tenants pause Japan Times


Why India and Russia Are Going to Stay Friends Foreign Policy


British Gov. Will Pay 50% Of Restaurant, Pub Bills To Stimulate Recovery Forbes

Fines, jail for non-compliance with face coverings law RTE (PD).

Danish nod gives Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline fresh traction Deutsche Welle

The New Pirates of Ancient Albion VenezuelAnalysis


“Irreparable Harm”: How The Flynn Case Became A Dangerous Game Of Legal Improvisation Jonathan Turley

New documents show internal debate over whether to prosecute Flynn Politico

New Cold War

The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums Counterpunch

Trump Transition

Trump commutes Roger Stone’s sentence CNN

Neil Gorsuch Affirms That Treaties With Tribal Nations Are the Law The New Republic

US Coronavirus ‘Bailout’ Scam Is $6 Trillion Giveaway To Wall St (transcript) Michael Hudson, Moderate Rebels (GF). Part two.

AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B AP

Trends in the Internal Revenue Service’s Funding and Enforcement Congressional Budget Office


Broad disapproval for Trump’s handling of coronavirus, race relations: POLL ABC

An interview with President Trump: ‘The real hate is the hate from the other side’ WaPo

‘You get made fun of’: Trump campaign office shuns masks, social distancing Politico

Democrats in Disarray

Oh, Neera:

California, which is tracking Texas and Florida quite nicely, is apparently not a “blue state” and did not have “the thinking.”

Why Won’t Democrats Just Come Out for Legalizing Marijuana? The Nation

Failed State Watch

Why Is a Tech Executive Installing Security Cameras Around San Francisco? NYT

Black Injustice Tipping Point

‘This is a time bomb’—Leaked docs reveal homophobic, racist police instructors Daily Dot

Metro Council demands mayor send Breonna Taylor records or risk ‘decisive action’ Courier-Journal. A “Place-Based Investigations” squad…

Majority of Seattle council pledges to support Police Department defunding plan laid out by advocates Seattle Times

Class Warfare

Trump Would Like to See You Now Jamelle Bouie, NYT. “Workers are kept on edge — and willing to accept whatever wage is on offer — by the threat of immiseration. This, for politicians who back both big business and existing social relations, is a feature and not a bug of our economic system, since insecurity and desperation keep power in the hands of capital and its allies.” Oddly, or not, Bouie applies this insight only to Trump. For a Democrat version, see NC here.

British PM Boris Johnson to tell firms to order staff back to workplaces: Media Straits Times

­­ ­‘Anyone saying all their staff are on minimum wage in the garment industry is a fraud:’ ‘Sweatshop’ owner of Boohoo factory confesses he pays workers a shocking £4 AN HOUR Daily Mail (J-LS).

Joe Costello on democratic politics and the Civil Rights Movement Immigrants as a Weapon

If it’s Not “Cancel Culture,” What Kind of Culture is it? (excerpt) Matt Taibbi (GF). “The woke version of erotica is writing an article for the Guardian about how ‘ejaculating’ skyscrapers are symbols of cisnormative dominance. They make the Junior Anti-Sex League seem like Led Zeppelin.”

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

So how would cats react to pro-biotic durian beer?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on July 11, 2020 by .

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.

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