Links 4/13/2021

Links 4/13/2021 1

Why Read the Classics? Abdelfattah Kilito, Baffler (Anthony L)

Japan to Dump Treated Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean Bloomberg (David L). Not news per se, more a status update.

Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, CO2 Now at Levels Unseen in 3.6 Million Years Defend Democracy

Airborne plastic pollution ‘spiralling around the globe’, study finds Guardian (Kevin W)

Injectable gel found to help reinforce and resurface joint cartilage New Atlas (Kevin W). A way away from prime time. Only mice studies.

Brain Wifi Aeon

Here’s Why Stress Could Make Your Hair Fall Out, According to New Mouse Study Science Alert (Chuck L)

On a limb: Despite resistance, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility of a new mental health disorder STAT. Gah. An excuse for more medding of kids.

Can drinking cocoa protect your heart when you’re stressed? ScienceDaily (PlutoniumKun)

Last Men and Women Commonweal (Anthony L). “Are some virtues casualties of progress?”


How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines New Republic

Pentagon scientists reveal a microchip that senses COVID-19 in your body BEFORE you show symptoms and a filter that extracts the virus from blood Daily Mail (Li). Even more reason to push for sniffer dogs!


Inhaled budesonide for COVID-19 in people at higher risk of adverse outcomes in the community: interim analyses from the PRINCIPLE trial MedRxIV. Preprint.

Scientists discover three liquid phases in aerosol particles (Kevin W)

The ongoing evolution of variants of concern and interest of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil revealed by convergent indels in the amino (N)-terminal domain of the Spike protein Virological (guurst)

I really really really hate running this, since where it winds up is not that far from anti-vax CT. It’s not supposed to be possible for RNA to modify DNA (the central dogma of molecular biology is “DNA makes RNA makes proteins”), so this paper falls into the category of “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” and I don’t think this paper meets that standard. Keep in mind, for instance, that certain enzymes can modify both DNA and RNA, so there may be a similar mechanism that produces this outcome.

Note also is not peer reviewed and I strongly suggest waiting to see the caliber of the takedowns before taking it as more than speculation supported by some data. We have very few actual biomedical scientists who are capable of assessing this article in our readership, and merely being expert adjacent does not cut it. So any speculation on this piece will be ripped out since it’s unlikely to be well informed. This BTW is Lambert’s find:

SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome BioRxIv

We asked KLG, who is a professor and has also done basic research, for a sanity check:

A quick read says the data are probably good. Moreover, while I do not appreciate arguments from authority, Richard Young and Rudolf Jaenisch have been pioneers in the later phase of modern molecular biology (both have Wiki biographies FWIW). As a graduate student and since then, their work was often that which we read to understand molecular biology at the cutting edge. Young, especially, is “connected” to Big Money Biotech, but I don’t think that is relevant here. Some of his ideas about the control of gene expression seem “out there,” but a lot of modern molecular biology is out there (introns, for example).

How Common Is ‘Long Covid’? New Studies Suggest More Than Previously Thought Forbes

The leader of Sicily in Italy said as many as 80% of people are turning down the AstraZeneca jab Business Insider Australia (Kevin W)


Third Covid wave pushes Poland’s health system to limits Financial Times


How America’s Great Economic Challenge Suddenly Turned 180 Degrees New York Times. Resilc: “i figure the Michigan Covid blow up, when rolled out nation-wide, will slow demand.”

The American Jobs Plan’s tax provisions are valuable but not the limit on possible spending Economic Policy Institute


China tries to wear down its neighbors with pressure tactics NBC (furzy)

Hong Kong elections: can blank votes be outlawed and will Beijing be embarrassed by low turnout? South China Morning Post

Wanted: Experts on War William M. Arkin (resilc)

Calls mount for probe into US bio-labs after Russian claim Global Times (guurst). From an official Chinese house organ. But what is good for the good is good for the gander.

China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now Wall Street Journal. Resilc: “Nobody can equal the exceptionalism of delusion in USA USA.”


Did Delhi just yield the Indian Ocean to the US? Asia Times (Kevin W)


100 days later, Brexit isn’t working and business wants it fixed CNN

“My small business is in ruins and I see no way out.” West Country Bylines (guurst) 🙁

How French companies are also being hit hard by Brexit Financial Times

Brexit: Boris Johnson’s EU trade deal branded worst UK negotiation in at least 40 years Independent

Much good discussion via e-mail of this tweet by Clive, Colonel Smithers, vlade, and David. Key easily hoistable points. David:

All previous tactics for 2022 have been based on the assumption that (1) Le Pen will get into the second round and (2) she will then lose to whoever is the other candidate…..But over the last year or so, we’ve begun to see indications that Le Pen might not, in fact, be unelectable after all. This is partly because recent events have moved the debate in her direction, over such questions as national sovereignty, Europe, industrial policy, political Islam, immigration etc. It should be stressed that these are not “right-wing” issues historically: they were issues addressed across the political spectrum until fairly recently, but which have since been abandoned by all the mainstream parties. Now (industrial sovereignty is a good example) everyone is talking of them again. But it’s partly also because of the mess that the rest of the French political system is in. As usual, it’s the Left (broadly defined) which is in the worst state. Unable to amass more than 25% of the vote, it’s still split into bitterly feuding factions, and the chances of it fielding a single candidate in 2022 are remote.

And vlade:

TBH, the reason why I think left/right labels are now wrong is actually simple.

The left, as it’s now, cares more about believing it’s right than power.
The right, as it is now, care more about getting and retaining power than any “right or wrong”.

We’d call it now “power-crazies” faction and a “smug” faction. The actual class policies are now irrelevant, and the “power-crazies” will happily do things for workers that communists would not blush about (as long as it gets and keeps them power), while the “smuggies” happily sending more people to powerty.

Brazil building new giant Christ statue, taller than Rio’s France 24. Resilc: “When vaccines dont work, you gotta go big Jesus.”

New Cold War

Facing the Facts of War with Russia American Conservative (Chuck L)


Israel Targeting of Iran the Result of U.S. Backing, Refusal to Acknowledge Its Nuclear Weapons Institute for Public Accuracy

EU Sanctions Iranian Officials Amid Vienna Talks (Kevin W)

Tariq Ali on our Saudi Prince New Left Review

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Appeals Court Hearing: Pelosi/Schiff Argue Congress Can Secretly Subpoena Phone Records of Citizens Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is on the sane end of the right.

Imperial Collapse Watch

OMG, the arrogance and cluelessness of this perspective. So US thinks it can solve a real world physical problem that the chip makers themselves are highly motivated to straighten out faster because political pressure will help? And that the US give orders to chip makers who are overwhelmingly not in the US, nor in military protectorates that we can push around? And that’s before getting to the fact that even those countries know that screwing European corporate customers to favor US ones is not a good. The Japanese are masters of faux cooperation, of agreeing and then doing the least important 40% of what was requested slowly. I am confident that South Korea and Taiwan have their own gambits.


Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda

Taiwan dollar drops with US set to apply currency manipulator tag Financial Times. Has someone lost their mind? Taiwan’s GDP on a PPP basis is $1.3 trillion and we are supposed to be their good buddy v. nasty China. China also buys nearly 3x as much of Taiwan’s exports as the US, if you include Hong Kong. Oh, and the currency should RISE if anyone though Taiwan would respond to the currency manipulator charge.

The Hill

Katie Porter (D-CA) Wields Her Iconic Whiteboard Like a Viking Sword and Merits Being Honored With the BuzzFlash Wings of Justice Award BuzzFlash

Top American CEOs vow to block Texas attack on voting rights in unprecedented Zoom summit Independent (Kevin W)

Democrats en déshabillé

Is It Time to Cancel FDR? Michael Lind (Chuck L)

“Why Should We Vote for a Party that Holds Us in Contempt?” – A Viewer Comment Paul Jay

Chris Hedges: We Must Build A New Party YouTube (Glenn F)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Shocking killing renews tensions over police The Hill. Trying to cuff and then shooting over expired tags? Seriously? I was driving my mother’s car with expired tags for nearly a year because the concept of “tags” as a non-car owner was new to me. I am highly confident I would only have been pulled over, scolded, and fined.

Bodycam footage of Daunte Wright shooting released CNN

Twins game against Red Sox postponed after Daunte Wright shooting New York Post (resilc)

Kill it With Fire

The city apparently got this costly toy in February, meaning when the city was Covid-budget stressed. What sexual favors were exchanged for that to happen?

Our Famously Free Press

Facebook’s Algorithm Practices Gender Discrimination Intercept (furzy)

Orders in Pending Cases Supreme Court. Li: “Social media might be natural monopolies. Scroll down to p 9 for Thomas view”

How Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital Lost $20 Billion in Two Days Bloomberg (Chuck L)

[Untitled Poem], Box 40, Folder 5, Item 7 St. Louis Fed (Scott). Marriner Eccles tries his hand at verse.

Guillotine Watch

New book sheds light on secretive Sackler family — the makers of opioid OxyContin PBS

From last week, still germane (guurst):

Class Warfare

Amazon workers react to the defeat of the RWDSU at Alabama warehouse WSWS (Micael T)

How Amazon Crushed The Union Threat In Alabama HuffPost

Krystal Ball: The Next Housing CRISIS Is Here And The Villains Are Exactly Who You’d Expect YouTube (dk). From last week, still germane.

Republican ‘attacks’ on corporations over voting rights bills are a hypocritical sham Guardian (resilc)

Elite philanthropy mainly self-serving Academic Times (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour. Tam: “I’ve just discovered that in Lombardy, Italy they have an annual ritual of donkey nannies that carry lambs down from the mountains!

Links 4/13/2021 2

And a bonus (furzy):

And another bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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