/Links 1/3/2021

Links 1/3/2021

My 2021 Forecasts / Year in Preview The Big Picture

Paygone Ryan Grim, Bad News

The Supply Chain Gang The Baffler. From November, still germane.


The Plague Year The New Yorker. A retrospective, very much in the New Yorker style, well worth reading in full. In the author’s view, there were three chances to contain the infection: when the CDC could not get into China in early January, the CDC’s “testing fiasco,” and masking. Trump does not come off well in the third and in subsequent events, rightly. (One might also ask, as the article does not, what happened to the “principle of association” that De Tocqueville wrote made America exceptional; it doesn’t seem to scale. This paragraph caught my eye:

When Bellevue’s doctors were at their lowest ebb, reinforcements arrived: hospital workers from other states flooded into New York to help. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, thirty thousand people responded to the city’s call for aid. It was a rare glimpse of national unity. “Half the people in the I.C.U. had Southern accents,” [Bellevue’s Nate] Link told me. “That’s what saved us.”

Worth putting the Red State/Blue State paradigm into this context.

25 Days That Changed the World: How Covid-19 Slipped China’s Grasp NYT. A second retrospective.

* * *

A Q&A about the new coronavirus variant with the Fred Hutch scientist who’s been tracking its spread Seattle Times

China reports first case of new coronavirus variant – CDC publication Reuters. Vietnam; Thailand; South Korea; Japan. Speaking of variants, and reasoning by analogy (“like”):

* * *

Fleeing Lockdown, Americans Are Flocking to Mexico City NYT

‘Why aren’t they home?’: Lake Tahoe struggles to keep winter vacationers at bay Guardian

When COVID hit, a Colorado county kicked out second-home owners. They hit back. High Country News

* * *

Masks and Face Coverings for the Lay Public : A Narrative Update Thomas Czypionka, Trisha Greenhalgh, Dirk Bassler, Manuel B Bryant, Annals of Internal Medicine. Concluding lines of the Abstract: “Evidence suggests that the potential benefits of wearing masks likely outweigh the potential harms when SARS-CoV-2 is spreading in a community. However, mask mandates involve a tradeoff with personal freedom, so such policies should be pursued only if the threat is substantial and mitigation of spread cannot be achieved through other means.”

Scientific evidence supports aerosol transmission of SARS-COV-2 Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. A takedown of this article. “Airborne transmission has been subject to a much higher burden of proof than droplet or contact transmission of SARS-COV-2, and also to a higher evidence standard compared to other pathogens. This is the opposite of a precautionary approach in the face of uncertainty.”

* * *

Vaccine makers race to secure supply chains FT

Pfizer decision to turn off temperature sensors forced scramble to ensure Covid-19 vaccines kept ultra-cold STAT. From December 2020, still germane.

What are the ingredients of Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine? MIT Technology Review (Re Silc). From December 2020, still germane.

Why California became the nation’s coronavirus epicenter San Francisco Chronicle

They were experts in viruses, and now in pitfalls of fame AP


China sees EU investment deal as diplomatic coup after US battles FT

Five steps to rebalancing strategic policy on China Weekend Australia

China’s Real Threat is to America’s Ruling Ideology Palladium

Shunned, Shattered, Shamate: A New Film Spotlights China’s Most Hated Subculture Radii

Coronavirus emerged in many places, Chinese foreign minister says South China Morning Post


Four Factors That Make the Farmers’ Agitation Unlike Any Other The WIre

Timeline: India’s coronavirus vaccine approved by drugs experts and India’s drugs experts approve AstraZeneca, local COVID vaccines Reuters

The Koreas

Voting in South Korea: History and Practice The Blue Roof. “There is no separate process of voter registration in South Korea, as all citizens are registered at birth and automatically given franchise at age 18.”

How a First World country handles international arrivals. A thread:

COVID Fatigue: Seoul Subway Data Shows Koreans are Tired of Social Distancing The Blue Roof

Child labor in palm oil industry tied to Girl Scout cookies AP

Filipinos Ignore Pandemic to Get Roasted Pig on Holiday Tables Bloomberg


Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon asks EU to ‘keep the light on’ for Scotland Sky News


Coronavirus: BMJ urges NYT to correct vaccine ‘mixing’ article BBC. More:

Covid-19: Order to reschedule and delay second vaccine dose is “totally unfair,” says BMA British Medical Journal

Delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine; and schools and universities Peter English’s Random Musings. Commentary:


As I was saying….

No future: the English Left in retrospect Al Jazeera

The Future of U.K. Banking Rests on a Process Run by European Politicians Bloomberg

Mass New Year party breaks up in France amid coronavirus fears Al Jazeera. Musical interlude.

Netherlands to vaccinate emergency care workers as soon as possible Reuters

Venezuela: Maduro strengthens his grip on power FT

Biden Transition

McConnell, Pelosi homes vandalized after $2,000 relief fails Associated Press

11 Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz, push to delay certification of Biden victory CNBC

Trump, the GOP arsonist Axios

Are we allowed to whisper about the transition to President Harris? The Hill. Why whisper about the screamingly obvious?

What the Labor Movement Wants From a Joe Biden Administration Teen Vogue

Nashville bomber’s bizarre writings reveal belief in aliens and lizard people NewsChannel5. The packages arrived by mail, so I’d want to be a little more clear on the provenance.

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Best Book I Read in 2020 Labor Law Lite. “I found Thomas I. Emerson’s Young Lawyer For The New Deal for a few bucks online to read during the early days of the pandemic… Emerson was one of the young ‘hotshot’ lawyers in the New Deal administrative agencies who was recruited by a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vaunted Brain Trust.” Emerson writes: “I never enjoyed any period of my career more than my five years with the NLRB. I felt a sense of mission, a sense of active struggle against opposition, and a sense of accomplishment. I believed that the work the Board was doing was extremely important. I had believed from the very beginning that the National Labor Relations Act was the key piece of legislation in the New Deal. By establishing the power of labor to organize into associations, the act was creating an institutional force that would support the liberal measures that the New Deal advocated. This would be the most significant organized force in support of the New Deal and in support of the chance in the social, political, and economic structure of the country—which I thought was necessary.” • Operational capability. By contrast:

‘Something Crazy In The Air’ (Fried Egg) The Heisenberg Report. “Payment file” is a new term of me.

The Reconstruction of America David W. Blight, Foreign Affairs. “It should be clear to all now that history does not end and is not necessarily going to any particular place or bending in an inevitable arc toward justice or anything else.”


Julian Assange’s father says ‘greatest fear is they will take him to the US and break him for revenge’ Independent

The International Criminal Court: Now Simply Indefensible Craig Murray

Class Warfare

Rule #2 of Neoliberalism:

The Year That Labor Hung On By Its Fingertips In These Times

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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