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Links 12/29/2020

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Links 12/29/2020

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Dear patient readers,

I imagine those of you who are a bit flush have made your year end donations (funny how that is a ritual even if the tax law changes make the deduction not useful). But if not, be sure to include food charities! So many people are hungry this year. I always give to some and made sure to give more this year. And I have to confess that on my list of regular causes is snow leopards. It would be perverse for us to adorn our Tip Jar with snow leopards and not try to help them.

And if you can’t make a monetary contribution but do have some time and enough gas money to drive locally, many groups are in real need of volunteers, provided you can help out on a regular basis.

They’re Among the World’s Oldest Living Things. The Climate Crisis Is Killing Them. New York Times (David L)

Miniatur Wunderland largest model railway / railroad of the world YouTube (furzy)

Discovery Supports a Surprising New View of How Life on Earth Originated SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

Weather Service faces backlash after launching ‘slow,’ ‘unusable’ radar website Washington Post (bob)

Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk BBC (David L)

How scientists manipulate research Lars P. Syll

Nihilism aeon (Anthony L).

#COVID-19

Russia admits COVID death toll third-worst in the world Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Science/Medicine

Covid vaccine OVERDOSE puts eight care home workers in hospital in northern Germany Daily Mail (Kevin W). Not as dire as headline but still not a good look.

Impact of Sex and Metabolic Comorbidities on COVID-19 Mortality Risk Across Age Groups: 66,646 Inpatients Across 613 U.S. Hospitals Oxford Clinical Infectious Diseases. Accepted for publication.

COVID Tied to Rare But Severe Eye Infection WebMD

‘Super Gonorrhea’ is spreading like wildfire thanks to COVID-19 BGR (dk)

COVID-19 diagnostic testing and viral load reporting VoxEU. Note the PCR test is quite accurate with symptomatic patients; it’s the asymptomatic (which does include pre-symptomatic) one where the results are less reliable. The suggestions about reporting viral loads could go a long long way toward properly calibrating test results.

These nursing home chains have the highest COVID-19 death rates in Ontario, data analysis finds CBC. DK: “Seems to me that the difficulty fundraising that non-profits must undertake to expand capacity can be contrasted to the ability of for-profits to raise money as investment for additional profit. The profit motive introduces a perverse incentive.”

UK/Europe

Covid-19: Concern at ‘unprecedented’ infection level in England BBC

Cramped housing has helped fuel spread of Covid in England – study Guardian

In Spain a “register” for those who refuse the vaccine: “It will be shared with EU countries” L’Unione Sarda.it

US

Hiding Covid-19: How the Trump Administration Suppresses Photography of the Pandemic Intercept

The mistakes and the struggles behind America’s coronavirus tragedy New Yorker (Kevin C)

A Los Angeles hospital is so overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases it’s been forced to treat some patients in the gift shop Business Insider (Kevin W)

COVID’s ‘untold story’: Texas Blacks and Latinos are dying in the prime of their lives Dallas News

Finance/Economy

House passes bill to increase $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. It now goes to the Senate. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Republicans Threaten To Deny $2,000 Checks To Their Own Constituents David Sirota (Glenn F). *Sigh*. Assumes Rs don’t know exactly what they are doing.

Bernie Sanders threatens to filibuster defense bill unless Senate allows vote on stimulus payments MarketWatch

More Rent Relief and a New Eviction Moratorium on the Way for New York Tenants THE CITY

Covid exposes capitalism’s flaws Financial Times. Gee, we figured this out months ago….and I am sure we were far from alone.

China?

Tech Giants Are Giving China a Vital Edge In Espionage Foreign Policy

Japanese government has approved a hike in military spending to address an “increasingly tough” security environment Agence France-Presse. From last week, still germane

Brexit

Brexit deal leaves much unchanged, institutionally Financial Times. Confirms what Richard North said over the weekend. Wowsers, Barnier and his side were total poker faces. Did Johnson and his team not get what they were agreeing to? Or did they not care? This now makes Macron’s recent antics look exceedingly clever as opposed to petulant. If France didn’t like the proposed deal, how bad could it be?

Never mind Brexit. Britain and France are condemned to work together Politico

The Complex Post-Brexit Path of Pecorino to London Restaurants Bloomberg

Brexit deal paves way for further conflicts WSWS. Beg to differ on the actual significance of Biden winning. Congress had repeatedly made clear there would be no trade deal for the UK if it messed with the Good Friday Agreement. And more generally, Congress is Ireland’s ally, and by extensions the EU’s due to Ireland having gone to great lengths to curry friendships. Trump could do very little unilaterally for Johnson, even if Johnson didn’t get that.

Trump Transition

House votes to override Trump veto of defense bill Politico (Kevin W)

Biden

President-elect Biden Delivers Remarks on Foreign Policy and National Security YouTube (Kevin C)

Biden calls out transition ‘roadblocks’ in remarks on national security The Hill

There’s a Way Biden Can Raise More From the Rich Without Higher Taxes New York Times. UserFriendly: “File under things that won’t happen.”

New York Post’s Hunter Biden Laptop Source Sues Twitter for Defamation The Verge

Turnout among young voters key to Georgia Senate runoffs Christian Science Monitor

The Threat of Authoritarianism in the U.S. is Very Real, and Has Nothing To Do With Trump Glenn Greenwald (UserFriendly)

Neera Tanden and Antony Blinken Personify the ‘Moderate’ Rot at the Top of the Democratic Party Norman Solomon, Common Dreams

Black Injustice Tipping Point

George Floyd hoped moving to Minnesota would save him. What he faced here killed him. StarTribune (UserFriendly)

How Kelly Loeffler’s WNBA Team Became Her Most Passionate Opponent BuzzFeed

Order: Mayberry v. KKR. This was a very long time in coming. 1. AG intervention approved as expected. 2. Denies Plaintiffs (with some swapped out and some swapped in to address issues with Supreme Court dismissal) filing a Second Amended Complaint. However, one careful attorney argued that there’s no bar to the plaintiff’s side filing a new complaint to deal with the issues raised by Judge Shepherd in nixing the Second Amended Complaint. We’ll see soon enough if the legal team on the case reads the filing the same way. Either way, this case looks to be finally proceeding to discovery.

FAA to allow small drones to fly at night, over people in step toward broader deliveries The Hill. Kevin W: “I grew up near an airport but at least the planes stopped flying in at night. Will people have to get use to the sounds of drones flying overhead at night?”

Flying During Christmas Travel Period? Still in Collapse Mode Wolf Richter

The OCC Is a Problem Agency Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. From earlier in the month, still germane.

Guillotine Watch

Nantucket, One of America’s Richest Islands, Got Pummeled by COVID. Then the Warring Started Daily Beast (Bob H)

Class Warfare

Neoliberal Champion Larry Summers Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Feet Matt Taibbi

The Unspoken Premise Of Modern Capitalism Is That The World Will Be Saved By Greedy Tech Oligarchs Caitlin Johnstone

Antidote du jour. David H: “From the end of my tractor trailer”:

Links 12/29/2020 1

And a bonus, from reader tomofthenorth. Filmed by drone near Duluth. The bobcats are so gorgeous!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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