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Links 5/14/2021

Summary:
UK recognizes animals as sentient beings Inhabitat (David L) Baby whale shark pleads with fishermen to save its life Pattya Mail (furzy) An Introduction to Asshole Cat Behaviors New Yorker (furzy). Cats are like women who follow The Rules…except it isn’t a technique, it’s what they are. They are entirely in control of if and when they are into you. Herd of rare banteng spotted in Huai Kha Khaeng Nation Thailand (furzy). Handsome! Freshly-Made Plutonium From Outer Space Found On Ocean Floor NPR (David L) From guurst, you can’t even trust NASA: Fact check: Heavily edited viral image of sun’s surface wasn’t taken by NASA USA Today The Clearest NASA Picture of the Sun Ever Taken NFT. pic.twitter.com/f3cFtiu0An — Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) May 8, 2021 Chainsaw massacre: tree poaching hits

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Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes Links 6/13/2021

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UK recognizes animals as sentient beings Inhabitat (David L)

Baby whale shark pleads with fishermen to save its life Pattya Mail (furzy)

An Introduction to Asshole Cat Behaviors New Yorker (furzy). Cats are like women who follow The Rules…except it isn’t a technique, it’s what they are. They are entirely in control of if and when they are into you.

Herd of rare banteng spotted in Huai Kha Khaeng Nation Thailand (furzy). Handsome!

Freshly-Made Plutonium From Outer Space Found On Ocean Floor NPR (David L)

From guurst, you can’t even trust NASA: Fact check: Heavily edited viral image of sun’s surface wasn’t taken by NASA USA Today

Chainsaw massacre: tree poaching hits Canada amid lumber shortage Guardian (resilc)

U.S. has entered unprecedented climate territory, EPA warns Washington Post (furzy)

How clothing and climate change kickstarted agriculture Aeon (Anthony L)

Welcome To The Terrible World Of Prescription-Only Apps Astral Codex Ten (UserFriendly)

#COVID-19

People are jerks: Pandemic puppies returned to shelters as COVID-19 restrictions lift The Hill (UserFriendly)

The people who want to keep masking: ‘It’s like an invisibility cloak’ Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Science/Medicine

Chinese firm’s COVID-19 drug claims draw skepticism Reuters (furzy)

Cuba’s Covid Vaccines Proceed even with US Sanctions Angry Bear. A bit surprised to see this depicted as news. Cuba has prioritized health care despite its generally impoverished state and has built a first-class biotech industry.

This is Why the World is Facing a Covid Apocalypse Umair Haque, Eudaimonia and Co (furzy(

Asia

India’s Covid crisis augurs lost economic decade Asia Times

UK/Europe

Indian variant: Second jabs could be brought forward to tackle rise BBC

US

The Biden Administration has lost its mind. Dealing with a pandemic is not performative. And public health in the US is a state matter under the Constitution, as part of policing powers. The Feds can control interstate commerce and fund programs, but that only goes so far.

I am also bothered by the trash-talking of vaccines other than the US champions. I have to keep repeating this: Pfizer and Moderna measured efficacy ONLY against serious infections and deaths. Pfizer didn’t even test participants regularly; its protocol asked them to call a nurse if they had symptoms and the nurse would decide if they needed to be tested. So Pfizer would never capture an asymptomatic case and could easily have missed mild ones. By contrast, Bloomberg on Sinovac, which is less effective than Sinopharm (used in the Seychelles):

Russell: The Sinovac study was to look at how the vaccine works against the entire range of clinical symptoms, from mild infections to severe ones, including death. The efficacy data of about 50% is for very mild disease, requiring no treatment. For infections requiring some medical intervention, it’s about 84% and for moderate-to-severe Covid cases, it’s 100%.

So the Sinovac data, on an more comparable basis, is in the same ballpark as Pfizer and Moderna (you’d need more granular data on how each company classified severity of infections and what the outcomes were to have a real apples to apples look).

Andrew Cuomo says New York will NOT follow CDC guidance and ditch face masks as he claims he will ‘rely on science’ Daily Mail

CDC’s Mask U-Turn Puts Business in a Bind Bloomberg. We got to be good about masking in the South, at least around Birmingham (where the medical industry is the biggest employer). I am now going to be even more reluctant to go out and shop (not that I do much as it is).

‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ Cancels This Week’s Show After HBO Host Tests Positive For Covid-19 Deadline

Finance/Economy

Secret Service seizes $2 billion
in fraudulent Covid unemployment payments, returns funds to states
CNBC (furzy)

China?

China census reveals the true scale of the Northeast’s decline Andrew Batson’s Blog (resilc)

Old Blighty

Glasgow Kenmure Street: Protesters force Home Office to release detained men The National (Richard Smith). Nicola Sturgeon supported the protestors.

Syraqistan

So what if the Ottomans shaped the modern world? Asia Times

Rightwing violence grips Israel Middle East Eye. Resilc: “Because it is now a well established right wing apartheid state…..”

The “dogs” have teeth. Pat Lang. Resilc: “Col. Lang is a right wing kook on domestic issues, but spot on here.”

Mob ‘lynching of Arab’ aired live on Israeli TV Agence France-Presse

US funds make Israel’s bombardment of Gaza possible. When will they be halted? Guardian (resilc). Um, this has been an obvious choke point forever. Or how about not delivering replacement parts for all the materiel we provide as a sighting shot?

Joe Biden wants to avoid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – but that won’t be an option for much longer Independent

Civil War? Palestinian-Israelis Join Protests en Masse for First time in Decades, as Squatter Militias Attack Juan Cole

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hijacked and Paying the Price – Why Ransomware Gangs Should be Designated as Terrorists Institute for New Economic Thinking. Confucius said that the proper naming of things was the beginning of wisdom. I am therefore not keen about the ongoing broadening of the use of the term “terrorist”. It comes off as a manifestation of NewSpeak, an effort to impoverish used vocabulary so as to achieve better messaging control. Better to take the (not much) time it would require to come up with more precise terminology (economic extortionists?) and corresponding criminal sentences.

Why is a Billion Dollar Pipeline Incapable of Defending Itself Against Ransomware? American Conservative

America’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Security Crisis OilPrice

Imperial Collapse Watch

What “politics” does to history: The saga of Henry Kissinger and George Shultz’s right-hand man Salon (UserFriendly). Mythmaking is important to power.

The Evil Military-Industrial Complex Frank Li, Econintersect

Capitol Seizure

U.S. Marine officer first active-duty military charged in U.S. Capitol riot Reuters (furzy)

GOP Civil War

Liz Cheney’s Stand Had Nothing to Do With Principle Intercept

The Splitting of the Ticket Split Larry Sabato (UserFriendly)

Only a matter of time’: Americans concerned after Marjorie Taylor Greene accosts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alternet (furzy)

Pelosi: Greene’s ‘verbal assault’ of Ocasio-Cortez could be a matter for Ethics Committee The Hill

Our Famously Free Press

Reporters Once Challenged the Spy State. Now, They’re Agents of It Matt Taibbi (Kevin W)

The World Is Facing A Lithium Supply Crunch As Demand Soars OilPrice (resilc). Quickly becomes stock-tout-ish, but does not make the headline point invalid.

‘Green’ bitcoin alternative Chia is leading to hard disc shortages New Scientist (furzy)

Fighting the Big Grocery Monopoly Washington Monthly (resilc)

Column: Bitcoin, dogecoin, NTFs, GameStop — is this the peak of investment absurdity? Mike Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times. Hiltzik generously quotes your humble blogger!

Guillotine Watch

Bad Bezos American Conservative (resilc)

Class Warfare

Americans are more pro-union – and anti-big business – than at any time in decades Guardian (resilc)

The Resurrection Of Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” Andrew Perez and David Sirota

Thomas Piketty and Capital in the 21st century: accuracy in research and confusion in theory CADTM (Micael T). So glad to see someone pick this apart. Picketty’s definition of capital struck me as all wet but I didn’t have the time or energy to pick it apart, and his r>g as an absolute rule, as opposed to a propensity with reversals, was also obviously nuts (trees do not grow to the sky, and r>g as an absolute rule means capital will eat the entire GDP).

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

Links 5/14/2021

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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