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Links 10/16/2021

Summary:
Update on Jeri-Lynn: Jeri-Lynn is still in this world. A reader offered to check the New York apartment where Jeri-Lynn works. The reader spoke to her housekeeper, who said everything was fine, and Jeri-Lynn and her husband were at their beach house. We then arranged for a wellness check there. The police report that her husband says that Jeri-Lynn was in the hospital, but is now fine. That is what we know, although we are still trying to get through to her and her husband. I’m sure Jeri-Lynn appreciates readers asking after her, as do we. –lambert Decoding the Sounds of Nature: Technology is making it easier to understand Reuters ‘Powerful auroras’ on alien planets may be sending strange radio signals toward Earth Live Science Flatworms Are Metal The Atlantic Private Equity Funds, Sensing

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Update on Jeri-Lynn: Jeri-Lynn is still in this world. A reader offered to check the New York apartment where Jeri-Lynn works. The reader spoke to her housekeeper, who said everything was fine, and Jeri-Lynn and her husband were at their beach house. We then arranged for a wellness check there. The police report that her husband says that Jeri-Lynn was in the hospital, but is now fine. That is what we know, although we are still trying to get through to her and her husband. I’m sure Jeri-Lynn appreciates readers asking after her, as do we. –lambert

Decoding the Sounds of Nature: Technology is making it easier to understand Reuters

‘Powerful auroras’ on alien planets may be sending strange radio signals toward Earth Live Science

Flatworms Are Metal The Atlantic

Private Equity Funds, Sensing Profit in Tumult, Are Propping Up Oil NYT

How private equity came to resemble the sprawling empires it once broke up FT

Supply-Chain Stress May Have Peaked Already Bloomberg. Based primarily on freight rates and the something-is-better-than-nothing involvement of the Biden Administration. I’m not so sure.

Amazon Puts Its Own “Brands” First The Markup

How arson factors into California’s wildfires High Country News

South Carolina lawyer accused of having himself shot now charged with embezzlement Reuters

#COVID19

COMMENTARY: What can masks do? Part 1: The science behind COVID-19 protection Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Part 2. “While we believe masks have a place in the hierarchy of controls, we urge scientists and journalists to consider their limitations and to focus, instead, on the most effective controls and the combination of multiple interventions to stop or limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission.” Grab a cup of coffee. Essential reading.

K-12 schools without mask mandates in Michigan saw 62% more coronavirus spread Detroit Free Press (original).

CDC and WHO fiddle while people build filters:

Again, these DIY projects are made for the cameras. It stuns me that nobody from the Biden Administration has seen the potential for a photo-op. I’m coming to the conclusion they actively refuse to accept the mechanism of aerosol transmission, rather than merely being ignorant about it. I await the OSHA emergency rule with interest.

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COVID-19 cases soared among kids as they returned to school The Hill

Montana sees new hospitalization record; Minnesota’s statewide transfer system offers little help: 5 COVID-19 updates Becker’s Hospital Review

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FDA advisory panel votes 19-0 to endorse booster dose of J&J vaccine and FDA advisory panel unanimously endorses Moderna’s Covid vaccine booster for some groups STAT

A Dallas biotech company and UT Dallas are developing a rapid breath test for COVID-19 screening Dallas Morning News

Ohio student, 10, confronts anti-maskers at board meeting: ‘Please be quiet. It’s inappropriate’ Akron Beacon-Journal

The impact of the COVID-19 response on the provision of other public health services in the U.S.: A cross sectional study PLOS One. From Conclusions: “The provision of many essential public health functions and tasks have been limited or eliminated while the U.S. public health workforce responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Everything’s going according to plan!

Preparing for “Disease X” Science

China?

China’s central bank says spillover from Evergrande crisis ‘controllable’ FT

Can China afford to stay isolated as world abandons ‘zero Covid’? South China Morning Post

It’s Official. China’s Solar Power Can Finally Compete With Coal Interesting Engineering

Historic Moment as First Passenger Train Along Laos-China Railway Arrives in Laos Laotian Times

Undersea internet cables connect Pacific islands to the world. But geopolitical tension is tugging at the wires The Conversation

Myanmar

ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta leader from summit in rare move Reuters. Statement from ASEAN chair Brunei. ASEAN will, instead, receive “a non-political representative.” I imagine those are thin on the ground in Myanmar just now, but we’ll see. Nice slogan:

Big if true:

Note that the Tatamadaw is likely present in Hakha already; whether from the ambushed column or not I don’t know.

Syraqistan

Deadly shooting rocks Beirut as tensions over blast probe erupt Reuters

UK/EU

Austerity in England linked to more than 50,000 extra deaths in five years Guardian. As many predicted at the time.

Security Forces Free Ministers Held Hostage in South Africa Bloomberg

New Cold War

How Russia’s Communist Party achieved unprecedented electoral success in Russia’s Far East — previously a stronghold for the far-right Liberal Democrats. Meduza

Brazil, Amazon, World: Crimes Against Humanity Counterpunch (RF).

Capitol Seizure

Congress’ Access to Individuals’ Private Communications: The Jan. 6 Committee’s Troubling Precedent Just Security. This source is about as Blob-esque as you can get. Commentary:

I didn’t have liberal Democrats as McCarthy acolytes on my Bingo card, but here we are!

Democrats en Deshabille

Bern-ing Questions (newsletter) Brian Beutler, Big Tent

There appears to be a pretty serious high-level breakdown of communication over the party’s top legislative priority [the Build Back Better Act], where only a few anointed people know what the most recalcitrant Senate Democrats want to do for the country, or whether they realize that their negotiating tactics have taken a tremendous toll on Biden’s approval rating and (thus) the fate of the country.

There are a lot of things Democrat leaderships says are existential that they don’t treat with a sense of urgency. Their “top legislative priority” is one such. Another is voting rights (H.R. 1). Another is the PRO Act. To be fair, the Senate is in recess now, and Sinema is in Europe raising money, and therefore completely out of touch. So what would one have them do?

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Let’s stand together to protect working families (Opinion) Charleston Gazette (DCBlogger). That’s Charleston, West Virginia.

Manchin’s Opposition May Doom Clean-Power Plan Biden Backs Bloomberg

Big Pharma’s Reward The Daily Poster

Now they’re just trolling:

Members of Congress Own Millions in Facebook Stock While Weighing New Tech Laws ReadSludge

Health Care

Minnesota National Guard to assist with long-term care staffing shortage Star Tribune

Imperial Collapse Watch

The End of American Militarism? Andrew J. Bacevich and Annelle Sheline, Foreign Affairs

Class Warfare

The Kellogg’s Worker in This Viral Photo Told Us Why He’s Braving the Storm Vice. The photo:

Teamster Insurgents Plan for a Win—And What Comes After Labor Notes. It’s not anti-union to remark upon the heart-breaking corruption that union leadership shares with the rest of our heartbreakingly corrupt ruling class.

Another technique to abuse the working class. Read the whole thread:

I’m amazed that capital is actually able to get away with paying workers wages in amounts workers find difficult to verify; the potential for wage theft is obvious (i.e., a phishing equilibrium). I suppose I shouldn’t be.

What Killed the Blue-Collar Struggle for Social Justice NYT. I reacted to the headline with all the cynicism the Times has earned, but read all the way to the end. Here, however, is a cautionary tale:

Household Experiences in America During the Delta Variant Outbreak (PDF) Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Re Silc). Selected bullet points from the Executive Summary:

  • Thirty-eight percent (38%) of households across the nation report facing serious financial problems in the past few months.
  • There is a sharp income divide in serious financial problems, as 59% of those with annual incomes below $50,000 report facing serious financial problems in the past few months, compared with 18% of households with annual incomes of $50,000 or more.
  • These serious financial problems are cited despite 67% of households reporting that in the past few months, they have received financial assistance from the government.
  • Another significant problem for many U.S. households is losing their savings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Nineteen percent (19%) of U.S. households report losing all of their savings during the COVID-19 outbreak and not currently having any savings to fall back on.
  • At the time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction ban expired, 27% of renters nationally reported serious problems paying their rent in the past few months. 2
  • When it comes to their children’s education, 69% of households with children in K-12 last school year say their children fell behind in their learning because of the COVID-19 outbreak, including 36% of all households with children in K-12 reporting their children fell behind a lot.
  • Thinking about the upcoming school year, 70% of households whose children fell behind last school year believe it will be difficult for children in their household to catch up on education losses from last school year.
  • In healthcare, 18% of households report anyone in their household has been unable to get medical care for a serious problem in the past few months when they needed it, with 76% of those unable to get care reporting negative health consequences as a result. Among households unable to get care when they needed it, 78% report having health insurance, while 22% report not having health insurance.
  • Half of households (50%) report anyone has experienced serious problems with depression, anxiety, stress, or serious problems sleeping in the past few months.
  • Among employed adults, 24% report having a worse job situation now compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak began, while 21% report having a better job situation, and 55% rate their job situation as about the same as it was before the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the New York Fed: Implications of Federal Reserve Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Liberty Street Economics

“A Glorious Mess.” On Confronting the Complexities of Storytelling with Anthony Bourdain Literary Hub

The Music Critic Who Tried to Disappear The Honest Broker. Whitney Balliett. Well worth a read, especially for jazz listeners.

Goya at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel — ‘the best exhibition in years’ FT

Antidote du jour (via):

Links 10/16/2021

Bonus Antidote:

Crow the Toolmaker!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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