Readers: Happy New Year, and many more of them! –lambert
The End of Financial Hegemony? New Left Review. Well worth a read.
How do tidal marshes store carbon? Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!
The Great Southwest Meltdown Of 2022 Seat 31B
Dogma, Hubris, and the Forgotten Lessons of SARS-1 (video) Mario Possamai, ISRP Respiratory Protection, YouTube. Fascinatingly, in SARS-1, collaboration between infectious disease and occupational health and safety departments led to a contained outbreak in Vancouver, BC via the application of the precautionary principle (contrasted to a debacle in Toronto). No lessons learned by Bonnie Henry! And none during SARS-CoV-2 by the infectious disease community in Canada, which clung to droplet dogma with a death-grip, there and at WHO. 57:13, but grab a cup of coffee, it’s a must-listen, and there’s much more than I’ve sketched here.
* * *
A little masterpiece of badness from the CDC (MN):
 Fine, fine, but the collective messaging here contradicts the individualist “if you choose” message at .
 The issue is not transmission at “large gatherings,” but, since #CovidIsAirborne, at venues that are closed, crowded, and close-contact (the 3-Cs).
 Has CDC abandoned its (“green map,” bad) community levels guidance, and replaced it with (“red map,” good) community transmission? Big if true. If so, “That means the CDC now recommends universal masking for **71%** of counties in the US, instead of only 9%.” However, the entire tweet is so sloppy and bad it’s hard to say, and in addition there’s no link.
 Great, back to “personal risk assessment.”
 The CDC site is down — so indicative the CDC can’t even manage a website — so I can’t read this link, but it’s not to the red map, or the green one, either
 Yeah, what about it?
Let’s review! We have mixed messaging, lethally bad advice on airborne tranmission, confusing guidance, a broken website, with an inexplicable hash-tag to wrap it all up. This is our flagship public health agency, the finest in in the world, the Centers for Disseminating Covid [slow clap].
* * *
CDC reports a new strain of omicron taking over in the U.S. NBC. This is XBB.1.5, which we’ve been eying for the same time. At the same time, these are CDC (“Nowcast”) projections, so “reports” in the headline is a bit deceptive.
Will the US plan for testing travelers from China help stem the spread of COVID? ABC. No. Sniffer dogs work. We had more than a year to get them into our airports. Of course, the Biden Administration squandered the year.
* * *
Woman, 36, almost passed out while walking. She was in heart failure due to COVID-19 Today. Note the source.
* * *
Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewater of tertiary care hospitals correlates with increasing case burden and outbreaks Journal of Medical Virology. Wastewater from three hospitals. From the Abtract: “Total SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in wastewater increased in tandem with total prevalent cases.” So, a good proxy?
Nasal Vaccines Are Here The Atlantic
COVID Vaccine Hesitancy and Risk of a Traffic Crash The American Journal of Medicine. n = 11,270,763. “Coronavirus disease (COVID) vaccine hesitancy is a reflection of psychology that might also contribute to traffic safety…. These data suggest that COVID vaccine hesitancy is associated with significant increased risks of a traffic crash. An awareness of these risks might help to encourage more COVID vaccination.”
China’s Xi says ‘light of hope in front of us’ on Covid Agence France Presse
Kim calls for ‘exponential increase’ of N. Korea’s nuclear arsenal Agence France Presse
Digitisation poses new risks to junta critics and is entrenching discrimination Frontier Myanmar. Yes, that’s why the junta is doing it. That’s why they’re all doing it.
How the West Failed Bosnia The Nation
New Not-So-Cold War
New Year Address to the Nation President of Russia
New Year greetings of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy President of Ukraine. Not sure of the provenance of this one, but nevertheless:
— Arthur Morgan (@ArthurM40330824) December 31, 2022
* * *
Patriot to Ukraine: What Does It Mean? Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Training courses for Patriot operators and maintainers normally take many months. The PATRIOT system repairer course, for example, takes 53 weeks. Others are not quite so lengthy. The fire control operator course is 20 weeks. The launch system operator course is 13 weeks. Ukraine could save time by sending trained air defenders—for example, troops trained on the S-300 system, which Ukraine has operated for many years. Nevertheless, there is a lot of learning to do before Ukraine will have a functioning Patriot system on the ground. It is possible that the Ukrainians have already begun to train on Patriot in anticipation of a possible future transfer.” (This CSIS article also seems to have a Congressional Research Service report wrapped around it.) Concluding: “The decision to send a battery to Ukraine is therefore as much an expression of political commitment as it is a boost to Ukraine’s air defense capability.” So, performative?
How Ukraine’s far-right, with NATO backing, block peace (podcast) Aaron Maté, Pushback. From December 19, still germane.
Peru: The Coup Plot Internationalist 360°. Lots of names, no links. Maybe some Peru mavens in the readership can comment.
Ukraine War: Biden’s Rating Improves Rasmussen Reports
Elon Musk, eager tech salesman to the Deep State Yasha Levine
The Backstory of ChatGPT Creator OpenAI WSJ. Y Combinator.
Police State Watch
Xmas Post-Game Analysis
Christmas Trees: Case Against Artificiality National Review
Realignment and Legitimacy
A Charity Tied to the Supreme Court Offers Donors Access to the Justices NYT (ctlieee). Commentary:
BREAKING: NYT reports a Supreme Court “charity” took $190,000 in secret donations from @Chevron when the company had cases (including Ecuador) pending before the justices. Other corporations also donated.
— Steven Donziger (@SDonziger) December 31, 2022
The Blind Spot Julia Doubleday. The Gauntlet
What motivated the Pacific Northwest substation attacks? Seattle Times
Moorish Americans Again Claim to Represent Morocco in Court Case Morocco World News
Activism and Apathy Are Poisoning American Politics The Dispatch
The Hopeful Dystopian Jacobin. Christopher Lasch.
A Theory of Ex Post Rationalization (preprint) (PDF) arXiv. “Classical economic theory rules out rationalization. It assumes that people make forward-looking choices according to fixed preferences, rather than adapting their preferences to rationalize past decisions. Introspection, common sense, and psychological research all suggest that the classical approach omits a key aspect of human decisionmaking.”
Antidote du jour (via):
An extra beaver video for anyone hanging out on Twitter on New Year’s Eve. This beaver was sniffing around on the frozen part of the beaver pond to see if there was anything worth eating. The ice broke under her on the way back in. 😀😀 #beavers #animals #winter pic.twitter.com/FEd6RqHAxN
— Mike’s Photos and Videos of Beavers (@MDigout99) January 1, 2023
Breaking the ice for the New Year!
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.