09/09 OT: Wednesday Whatchamacallit

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Image from page 120 of "History of art" (1921)

whatchamacallit

How about covid-19, for a change. It has been alleged that Russia, Russia, Russia has already developed a vaccine. Thee must be some truth to that because Trump imposed sanctions on them, presumably out of fear that they might undercut our prices for ours, whenever it comes out.

Some have expressed concern abut the RussiaVaccine(tn) because it appears to be a rush job and they might not have tested it enough. Meanwhile, the good old USofA is rushing out several without doing enough testing. Any takers?

This is a very serious question. We need abut an 80% vaccination rate to reach herd immunity. Right now that doesn't look all that likely. We have run of the mill anti-vaxxers, those still spewing the "Covid-19 is a hoax" delusion, those who won't be able to afford it and others. According to UCSF researchers only 33% of the surveyed populace got flu shots in 2018, which is a bit short of the target. And, those don't include the merely cautious, as near as I can tell.

There is a good, and short article on the matter which disclosed some of the important demographics as to flu shots. https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/covid-19-vaccines-are-moving...

I recommend reading it. Of course, some people who passed on flu shots might go for covid-19 shots, it is reportedly much more severe. But, at least with flu shots you know more or less what you are getting - a best guess crap shoot cocktail that might or might not work on this year's variant, but probably won't harm you any. Not so the anticipated US covidshots. They are being rushed out as part of some political theater move by the US medical industry under special conditions.

The other option: Some have been saying all along just to let the virus run free and Herd Immunity will save us. It seems that the latest is rumored to be some guy named Scott Atlas. He is a White House advisor and an a neuroradiologist at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. really. We're supposed to be listening to a jumped up x-ray tech who works for a (non-medical) notorious public policy think tank attached to Privilege U? Ya gotta be kidding me. Sweden tried that and it was a miserable failure.

Popular Science has an article on this specific silliness, Herd immunity alone won’t stop COVID-19. Here’s why. (https://www.popsci.com/story/health/herd-immunity-covid-19-vaccine/ ) Among other things, it points out that

There’s also no evidence that a single sweep of the virus through the population would lead to herd immunity, says Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health.

They also bring in a real epidemiologist to weigh in on the matter.

“We’re talking about something that...basically would be relying upon an outbreak that would lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” says William Hanage, an epidemiologist in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The numbers of people who would be rendered vulnerable to this are surely larger than anybody should be prepared to accept.”

Sadly, he quite tellingly says larger than anybody should be prepared to accept, which, though true, is possibly irrelevant. Huge numbers of US citizens, conservatives, libertarians, neoconservatives, even a very great many neo-liberals, have no problem with obscene numbers of dead and permanently damaged if it would quickly restore a semblance of "normalcy" given only that they and theirs would be kept safe. Luckily for the rest of us, there is no magic shield they can use, so seeming sanity might prevail.

It's a pretty good article with facts, data, graphs and all but does either accidentally or intentionally slip into mainstream narrative manipulation in at least one point. Beneath a graph showing the US rapidly catching up to Sweden, which is very high, in confirmed deaths per million, they state:

“Sweden is one of the most medically privileged and healthcare privileged nations on the planet,” Vermund says. The United States has high rates of heart disease and other conditions that put people at higher risk of becoming seriously ill should they catch COVID-19. Many people in the U.S. face other inequities, including lack of access to health insurance and living in areas high in air pollution, that compound their risks. In Sweden, Vermund says, “You don’t have the profound subpopulation of vulnerable individuals that we do in the U.S., so it would have been even worse in the U.S. if we had simply let the epidemic rage.”

(my emphasis)

Note the risable substitution of health insurance for health care, even though the two are, at best, distantly related. Between deductibles and co-pays, a great number of those not well off cannot afford to use whatever medical insurance they have and thus have insurance but cannot access care. Meanwhile, if you have enough money and can travel, you can get care without insurance, and, with enough money, quicker and easier too.

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Cop Stuff
According to WIRED, the cops want your smart speaker and all of your other gadgets. Of course, they'd like to have all of them and their data and your internet searches and phone calls 24-7, but they can't legally get all that yet. They will, however, try to get ll they can. Meet the Star Witness: Your Smart Speaker ( https://www.wired.com/story/star-witness-your-smart-speaker/) Requests from law enforcement for the devices, data on the devices or date stored else where relating to actions and activities involving the devices are growing. The article has examples and data regrding how the information is used in investigations and prosecutions. Also other information such as the fact that subpoenas, warrants and other court orders for such information went from under 2,000 in the first half of 2016 to 3,000 in the first half of 2020 just from Amazon. It is a quick read and worth the time.

WIRED also tells us of another more blatant fishing expedition using our phones here: Creepy ‘Geofence’ Finds Anyone Who Went Near a Crime Scene ( https://www.wired.com/story/creepy-geofence-finds-anyone-near-crime-scen... ) Case in point

In 2018, 23-year-old Jorge Molina was arrested and jailed for six days on suspicion of killing another man. Police in Avondale, Arizona, about 20 miles from Phoenix, held Molina for questioning. According to a police report, officers told him they knew “one hundred percent, without a doubt” his phone was at the scene of the crime, based on data from Google. In fact, Molina wasn’t there. He’d simply lent an old phone to the man police later arrested. The phone was still signed into his Google account.

These outrageous fishing expedition warrants are basically a request for the identification of any and all devices near a crime scene during a period of time in which a crime occurred. The cops then work from there, pinning down ownerd and investigating them.

A recent attemtp at getting such a warrant was denied by the courts, but in somewhat special circumstances which will probably seriously limit the precedential value of that case. The number of these requests is huge and skyrocketing (allegedly as many as 180 requests per week last year.for google alone) and it isn't just Google. Apple, Uber and Snapchat are given as examples of other targets for such requests. What's worse is tht the cops can simply buy this type of data from the myriad data brokers who gather such info via assorted apps and then market it. The only real solution is to get legislation passed prohibiting cops from obtaining it from any source, otherwise they'll be knocking on everybody's door day and night 365 days a year, time and time again. If you take a bus to work that goes through an area where there is a lot of drug dealing, you'd better keep your phone in a farady cage until you get off that bus.

EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published an article concerning mass, unwarranted, indiscriminate surveillance of protesters and others. San Francisco Police Accessed Business District Camera Network to Spy on Protestors ( ttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/07/san-francisco-police-accessed-business-dis... ) This is important because it isn't just San Francisco, of if it is now, it won't be for long, you can be sure of that.Worse yet, these 24-7 live feed surveillance networks (yes, plural) aren't regulated in any way, even though theyare partially government funded, and can share any and all tof the information they collect with anybody they wish to. I think this is really a must read article, because you can be sure that this shit is coming to a sidewalk near you any day now. and the push-back and legislative efforts need to be started now.

The Tampa Bay Times published an expose of abusive policing writ large as Pasco’s sheriff created a futuristic program to stop crime before it happens. -- It monitors and harasses families across the county.

( https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2020/investigations/police-pasco-... )
Its a relatively lengthy piece and documents an example of what one might call preventative predictive policing which is nothing short of targeted harassment of people who ae, in the end, totally victimized by the program, regardless of why. It is also an expose of the shit that comes from so called predictive policing and a scary omen for the future if this type of technically legal uber-malfeasance catches on further.

Man Bites Dog (laughter and glee are expressly permitted)
NSA warns of security threats from mobile location data ( https://app.getpocket.com/read/3069959446 )

The National Security Agency (NSA) on Tuesday rolled out guidance warning that location data from mobile and other internet-connected devices could pose a security threat for users if it were accessed by adversaries.

The guidance was rolled out as a warning for Defense Department personnel and others with access to sensitive federal systems, but the NSA noted that it could be used “useful to a wide range of users.”

The NSA wants all of its people to do everything in their power to keep their devices from knowing, collecting or transmitting location data, and gives some suggestions as to how. How, in reality, is just to live that shit home or put it in Farady bags.

The guidance comes two years after the Defense Department banned the use of fitness trackers, smart phones, and other devices with geolocation services for all deployed personnel, according to CNN.

Sooo glad they're looking out for our safety on all fronts. Any day now they'll recommend seat belts and child safety seats.
snicker

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be well and have a good one.

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It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
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Anja Geitz's picture

Received evacuation warning alerts last night. Will be loading up the car this morning with essentials in case I need to leave quickly. Santa Ana winds will probably be the determining factor.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
that you don't need to evacuate, but be safe either way and good luck

be well and have a good one, whatever happens.

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

I’ve never been this close to a fire this size and I confess to being more than a little jittery this morning.

The white dot in this picture is where I live in relation to the bobcat fire:

B084AB4C-9872-4D7F-8B9F-996343F25728.jpeg

And this is the evacuation warning area:

40438376-25BC-46C2-92F0-C0C11DF99057.jpeg
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11 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mhagle's picture

@Anja Geitz

prayers for you!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

Coronavirus: Oxford University vaccine trial paused after participant falls ill
( https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54082192 )

short form: One of subjects fell ill, trial halted to determine if illness just one of those things or if related to vaccine.

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

First John Campbell Immunity and vaccine optimism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZRUq3Igf-k
He has all the links under the video.
He gives his summary at the beginning.

Next Chris with Vitamin D: A Powerful Bullet Against COVID
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZuCrwYa80s
He also has links to the studies below his clip at the link.
His conclusion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZuCrwYa80s&t=21m40s

cases_3.png

deaths_6.png

Fatalities were much more pronounced in the 1st wave, and though we have more (known) cases (and testing) now, death rates are continuing to fall. Down to 500 per day now.

I'm also thinking we've got a few more months of challenges, but by next summer I think we'll be on the backside of this challenge. I hope so.

Unfortunately the climate issues appear to be accelerating.

I'm off to water the young fall crops. Y'all have a good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@Lookout

...both of whom had lock downs...

EU Cases ...
cases_4.png

and deaths (per 1,000,000)
deaths (2).png

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

usefewersyllables's picture

in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines in helping control the spread of illness. I will for sure be getting my flu shot shortly (not the one that they hand out at Walgreens or CVS, the heavier duty prescription-only version intended for at-risk populations). If the weather keeps doing this (and it will), this flu season is going to be a proper bitch. Add that to the fact that they've now decided to start letting people back into the stands for some pro sporting events, and you have a new perfect storm brewing. I called that one in March.

Having said all that: you couldn't pay me enough to accept any Covid vaccine that would be approved by this administration, at least in its first 6 months. Despite the fact that I still believe in the medical community as a whole, and researchers in particular, their work and their results in this country will be governed by political appointees, lobbyists, and other assorted professional scam artists. What will come out of this government (miraculously 3 weeks before election day!) will be at best a placebo, and at worst will probably kill a few more people, because reasons.

I'll wait until one developed, tested, and approved offshore is either imported illegally, or I can travel out of the country to receive it.

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13 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

@usefewersyllables
as to vaccines. I'm not sure that:

I still believe in the medical community as a whole, and researchers in particular

there are unscrupulous persons in all professions, and great numbers of sociopathic corporations out there interested solely in profits, especially in pharma.

be well and have a good one.

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10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

@enhydra lutris

My judgement on researchers is colored by college classmates who later went on to careers in the field, I suppose. The fact is that most of those specific folks are retired by now, and I can't really vouch for the current crop...

On reflection, there's a real kernel of truth in there. It used to be possible to believe in the medical profession. And then just about at the start of the cold war the whole Hippocratic ideal of "do no harm" abruptly got buried under paranoid nationalism, Daddy Warbucks profitism, and the requirements of the ubiquitous and amoral security state. It was a short (and all too easy) putt from "Sulfa drugs and morphine save the lives of soldiers in the field!" to "Hey, let's inject these innocent people with this newfangled plutonium stuff to see how fast it kills 'em..."

Oppenheimer got it right in his comments on the Trinity test:

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed... A few people cried... Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form, and says, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

That really applies across the board to all of engineering and related technical fields, not just the medical profession. We sowed the wind (out of misplaced loyalty and expediency), and now we all get to reap the whirlwind.

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9 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

ggersh's picture

@usefewersyllables

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“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Søren Kierkegaard

NO MORE WAR

enhydra lutris's picture

@ggersh
or, for that matter, your tag line.

be well and have a good one

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Granma's picture

In the last few days. Nine major pharmaceutical companies stated they will NOT apply for approval for a vaccine without completing full safety and effectiveness testing. The wording was careful to not antagonize Trump, and yet made it clear they won't have anything ready until well after the election. I have too busy a morning to hunt up the statement to post a link. Apologies for that. It should be easy to find if someone else wants to get it.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@Granma

and it gave me some hope. But the lure of easy money will be hard to resist- all it takes is one unscrupulous company, as EL pointed out above, and whoever it is will make a government-guaranteed killing (at least until it becomes apparent that their product was actually just saline and food coloring in a tube). This would be right in Martin Shkreli's wheelhouse, for example...

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10 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Granma

just need to hope they stick to it, and, in a more perfect world, make the test results and data public.

be well and have a good one

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

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enhydra lutris's picture

@gjohnsit

be well and have a good one.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

looks like dusk, but with a reddish cast to everything, If you pass near an automatic night-time security light it will turn on.

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10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

and smoke you all are having in CA. It looks just terrible.
We are finally getting some rain along with a decrease in hot temperatures in South Central TX. I'm hoping all the seeds I planted a few days ago don't float away. Bad timing on my part.

Thanks e.l. for all the good reading links. Keeping up with the news is tough. I will bookmark that and pick away at it as I can.

I finally listened to that Jimmy Dore clip where he goes ballistic about the steep increase in evictions in Harris county (Houston). He also talked about the complicity of the Democrats in that situation. I hope people see and remember that fact.

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snoopydawg's picture

@randtntx

There are no words for what congress is allowing to happen because they won't spend money on us. But Mitch found $161 Billion to help the coal companies. During the time the western US is on fire. Not that Biden is going to do much of anything.

I AM NOT BANNING FRACKING.

But then he had 8 years with Obama to do a damn thing about it. What did Obama do? The Paris climate accords and then opened up the country to drilling. Good lord how can people be so damn blind to their legacy?

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg thats probably where I saw the clip in the first place but didn't have a chance to delve in at the time. I'll go back and read your essay. I understand Dore's visible anger and disgust about throwing people (infants, children, the elderly) out on the street during a pandemic (among other things).

It's hard to believe the unraveling of our society that has been caused by TPTB and our own government. The collapse has been going on my entire lifetime but the increased rate of collapse and the blatant profiteering by the government over these past 20 years is unbelievable. Dore is right, it is disgusting.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx

be well and have a good one.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

Thanks!

Be well everyone! I-m so happy

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7 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

@mhagle

be well and have a good one

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Like dusk. Inversion layer w smoke on top and marine layer below. Sky is light gray gold. Bees are not out. Global dimming will be like this if it happens. I am at a loss for words.

Thanks for the great ot, lo. Take good care everyone!

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

be well and have a good one.

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --