/Links 6/18/2020

Links 6/18/2020

Dear patient readers,

Behind today. Please come back at 7:45 AM to get a full ration.

Blue Whales Make Rare Appearance Off San Francisco Coast, Prompting Warning For Ships SFGate (David L)

See the summit of Mount Everest in 360 degrees National Geographic (David L)

These Tiny, Treetop-Living, Ewok-Looking Creatures May Be Getting Socially Distanced to Extinction NRDC (furzy)

Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal Quanta (David L)

Extremely Sensitive Dark Matter Experiment Detects Something Weird Gizmodo

Soap bubbles pollinated a pear orchard without damaging delicate flowers PhysOrg (Robert M)

Planting trees is no panacea for climate change, says ecologist UCSC (David L)

Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice Berkeley (DK)

Irish neolithic upper class were inbred…. plus the earliest Downs Syndrome child found (5000 years old) PlutoniumKun


A warning from South Korea: the ‘fantasy’ of returning to normal life Financial Times

Cambodia demands £2,400 ‘coronavirus deposit’ from arriving travellers Independent (resilc)


WHO halts trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients Reuters

Claims of a mutating virus spook Beijing Asia Times (Kevin W)

Terrifying chart shows how Covid-19 patients who end up in hospital may be almost certain to die if they have a vitamin D deficiency Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Chinese firm says its vaccine candidate passes phase two clinical trials South China Morning Post (resilc)

Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community JAMA (MA)

Demand for face shields looks to be heating up as Canadians seek summertime COVID protection CBC (MA)



Florida, Texas and Arizona set records for daily COVID-19 cases The Hill

236 people got the coronavirus after an Oregon church held services during lockdown — more evidence that religious gatherings are superspreading hotspots Business Insider. Kevin W: “Read the last line.”

Florida bars and restaurants close just a week after reopening Independent

Montgomery Council votes down mask ordinance to doctors’ disgust Montgomery Advertiser (furzy).

#WalkAway founder removed from flight for refusal to wear mask, as US airline trade group threatens to blacklist violators RT (Kevin W). About time. On the American flights I was on last week, the flight attendant patter included a weird statement about showing consideration for passengers not wearing masks, when no one had been allowed on board without one. Also what gives American the right to remove passengers not wearing masks is not the law but its Contract of Carriage, which allows it to expel passengers that pose a danger to safety.


Airbnb released a 38-page handbook with cleaning and disinfecting protocols — and it suggests that hosts have full PPE on hand, including optional shoe coverings Business Insider (Kevin W). Talk about PR/virtue signaling. Odds are high that at most 10% of AirBnB hosts will go to this level of effort and expenditure, particularly with bookings having collapsed.

India-China face-off live updates: No troop missing in action, say Indian Army sources Times of India

India-China clash: Diplomats ‘strongly protest’ over border clashes BBC. Furzy: “The Indian Army claims they were overwhelmed by the Chinese by some 10 to 1.”

KGB chief Andropov still Russia’s mythical man Raamop-Rusland. Chuck L: “Andropov seems to occupy a space in the Russian historical imagination as John Kennedy does here in the USA. Lot’s of room for ‘what might have beens.’”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’: iPhone feature will record police interaction, send location FOX 29 News Philadelphia (Chuck L)

A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us. Now it’s time to keep track of them. MIT Technology Review (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

America: Too Weak to Rein in Its Own Empire? American Conservative (resilc)

Trump Transition

Trump Put Re-Election Prospects Ahead of National Interest, Bolton Alleges Wall Street Journal

Book Review: John Bolton’s ‘The Room Where It Happened’ New York Times. Furzy:

…The book is bloated with self-importance, even though what it mostly recounts is Bolton not being able to accomplish very much. It toggles between two discordant registers: exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged.

Still, it’s maybe a fitting combination for a lavishly bewhiskered figure whose wonkishness and warmongering can make him seem like an unlikely hybrid of Ned Flanders and Yosemite Sam.

Trump’s push for major infrastructure bill faces GOP opposition The Hill. Gah. The big thing wrong with this on a high concept level (I am sure it would have grifting public-private partnership provisions) is that it is way too small (the $1 trillion is over 10 years).

Judge Orders Trump Administration To Give Tribes Their COVID-19 Relief Funds HuffPost

Why America’s Institutions Are Failing Atlantic


Democrat Facing Primary Challenge Flip-Flops on Social Security Intercept

Welders, Thongs, and Monster Trucks: Inside @QueerAppalachia’s Search For Community in the Deep South Esquire (resilc). Yes, I have to imagine the rural or semi-rural South is awfully inhospitable to gays. But the South does include New Orleans. And before I moved to Birmingham, I flew next to a making-no-attempt-to-hide-it gay man who had moved down because his partner had gotten a good job at the local conservatory. He secured employment quickly and was a booster of Birmingham. Similarly, there’s a neighborhood nearby with lovely houses and crappy schools which is well known locally to be a magnet for gays. So there are pockets of the South that may not rise to being gay friendly but are at least not gay hostile.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Terrell Bryant went to 38th and Chicago to kill a cop and die. He found a community instead. MinnPost (Chuck L)

This video of a tearful Georgia police officer accusing McDonald’s of withholding her Egg McMuffin order on purpose has gone viral MarketWatch (Kevin W)

‘Bakers Against Racism’ Are Launching a Virtual Bake Sale to Help BLM Causes Vice

There’s A Huge Gap In How Republicans And Democrats See Discrimination FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

When Will U.S. Shale Rebound To Pre-Pandemic Levels? OilPrice

YouTube Bans Mercola Videos, Google is really out of control. Looks like Mercola got in trouble not just for being a major anti-vax funder, but also for promoting his dietary supplements as superior to vaccines. But the remedy for that is not Google intervening but the FDA coming down on him like a ton of bricks for making medical claims. Dietary supplements makers typically pay big bucks to lawyers to stay on the right side of that bright line. I have no doubt the labels on Mercola’s products were compliant, but misleading advertisements and promotions are a no no. This is another really troubling example of Google acting in a quasi judicial manner.

Lawmakers accuse FAA of obstruction over Boeing 737 MAX, cast doubt on agency’s role ensuring safety Seattle Times. Discouraging. Dickson initially started down Boeing and even whacked them in media (cleverly done so as not to be too frontal). It almost seems Boeing showed him a horse’s head, that’s how different his current posture seems compared to early moves.

US pulls out of talks to tax tech giants in a blow to Europe’s plans Finanz.dk (furzy)

Amazon’s Private Government American Prospect (resilc)

Stock-market legend who called 3 stock-market bubbles says this one is the ‘Real McCoy,’ this is ‘crazy stuff’ MarketWatch (David L)

Class Warfare

‘An Unstoppable Movement’: Sanders Praises Grassroots After Target Announces $15 Minimum Wage Common Dreams

Antidote du jour. Retaj: “Local geese in my neighborhood”:

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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