There have been multiple sightings of a hairy, venomous caterpillar in Virginia CNN (dk).

Monkey ‘Gang Wars’ Keep Killing People in India Vice. What is with the showrunners on this timeline? (Oh, deforestation is one cause.)

New England’s Forests Are Sick. They Need More Tree Doctors. NYT

CommonPass Covid Action Platform, World Economic Forum. Sounds innocuous enough….

Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing The Correspondent. Except prosecution futures, as Yves has pointed out.

The Core of the ECB’s New Strategy Project Syndicate

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva: ‘The fund needs to have a big bazooka’ FT

Contractors, scrap dealers selling border fence steel in Arizona and Mexico CBS5 (dk). Metal theft is always a sign of economic distress.


Steps for Reducing COVID Transmission (GoogleDoc) Cyrus Maher, UCSF. This is the must-read for the week. It’s not only a review of the literature, it’s packed with useful, pragmatic information, and very simply and clearly written. Slide 11: Aerosol FTW; slide 20: the “Swiss Cheese” model; plus a series of slides on preventing exposure, reducing exposure, and improving your odds if you are exposed starting at slide 24; see especially slide 48. (Caveat lector: There is a pitch to enroll in UCSF’s clinical trial.) Could some kind soul with a Google account download this document as a PDF and mail it to me? Address in Water Cooler beneath plant. Thanks! UPDATE Four kind souls did this within minute, so thanks for the thought, but you don’t need to!)

* * *

Science is popping:

How SARS-CoV-2 disables the human cellular alarm system “The Guttman lab discovered that SARS-CoV-2 proteins interfere with this whole process [of cellular protein production] at multiple stages. Some of the virus’s proteins prevent mRNA from being fully spliced and properly assembled. Others plug up the ribosome so that it cannot form new proteins. Still other SARS-CoV-2 proteins interfere with the signal recognition particle and block protein transport.” Includes a diagram of the three stages:

The above is the human-readable report. Below is the original from Cell. Important:

SARS-CoV-2 disrupts splicing, translation, and protein trafficking to suppress host defenses Cell. From the abstract: “Here, we comprehensively define the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 proteins and human RNAs… Disruption of each of these essential cellular functions acts to suppress the interferon response to viral infection. Our results uncover a multipronged strategy utilized by SARS-CoV-2 to antagonize essential cellular processes to suppress host defenses.”

Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report NEJM. From the Conclusion: “Our data show that remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.” Somebody will have to translate the medicalese for me, but this doesn’t sound impressive (and there’s no impact on mortality).

The Coronavirus Unveiled NYT

* * *

Harvard-CU Boulder Portable Air Cleaner Calculator for Schools.v1.2 (GoogleDocs). GoogleDocs being what it is, there’s no author visible, but it comes attested.

COVID-19 and household energy implications: what are the main impacts on energy use? Heliyon

The Stress of Bayesian Medicine — Uncomfortable Uncertainty in the Face of Covid-19 NEJM

Can You Handle Herd Immunity? Ask These Philosophers Bloomberg

Timeline of the Coronavirus Pandemic and U.S. Response JustSecurity. Caveat lector: a Democrat-adjacent lawfare blog.


COVID-19 Has Dimmed Xi’s Approval Ratings Abroad – But Not in China The Diplomat

Hong Kong’s many ‘white elephant’ money-pit projects are coming home to roost Hong Kong Free Press. Block that metaphor!

Coronavirus: death of Filipino domestic helper in Hong Kong underlines stark health care gap amid pandemic South China Morning Post. As in Singapore.

The rest is silence:

Indonesia protesters: Our welfare will ‘only get worse’ with Jokowi’s new law Straits Timess

Australia’s Antarctic Frontier: Our Unchecked Indo-Pacific Strategic Faultline – Part 1 Australian Army Research Centre. Part 2.


Understanding India’s ‘Federalism’, and 2020’s Fiscal Troubles Advait Moharir, Notes on the Crisis

The Himalayan invention powered by pine needles BBC

The Koreas

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un throws down gauntlet with huge new ICBM: Analysts Straits Times


Not RAF Luton:

Russia’s Siberian Waters See Record Ship Traffic as Ice Melt Accelerates WSJ

New Cold War

Armenia Azerbaijan: Reports of fresh shelling dent ceasefire hopes BBC

Why Russia Is Biding Its Time on Nagorno-Karabakh Carnegie Moscow Center

“I Am Russia” — Navalny Story Collapses in Self-Contradiction John Helmer. Surely the least we can ask of our catspaws is that they keep their stories straight?

Putin’s Got His Problems, Too Patrick Buchanan

Trump Transition

Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal The Hill. Even if the bill is less than ideal, why not take the trillion now, and improve it later? Yang is correct:

That’s what liberal Democrats are always telling us on, say, health care, so why not pass a clean bill that relieves working class suffering? And improve it after you win the House and Senate?

Trump’s Case

Who infected President Trump? This genetics tool could easily pinpoint the source National Geographic


Biden says ‘chicanery’ at polls is the only way he could lose U.S. election Reuters

Fifth Circuit Panel (Three Trump Appointees) Temporarily Halts District Court Restoration of Texas Drop Boxes As Panel Considers What to Do Election Law Blog

Mail-In Ballot Rejection, Caucuses and an Incompetent Political Party Mike the Mad Biologist. “If Democrats were a competent political party (a boy can dream!), they would be spending a little less money on ads and more money on instructions and ensuring people have witnesses–I imagine the elderly could find it difficult to get a witness.” If the Democrats were a competent democratic political party, they would be doing all these things 24/7/365 as a core party function, for all citizens, and not going, hat-in-hand, to some squillionaire to fund an idpol-targeted vertical in a few random swing districts a few months out from the election, ffs.

* * *

Trump no longer Covid transmission risk, says his doctor FT

Nine people who attended Trump rally in Minnesota contracted coronavirus The Hill. As I’ve said, it’s OK to have it. It’s not OK to spread it (musical interlude).

‘There Is a Different Set of Rules for Someone Like Donald Trump’ FAIR. On the tax story.

Biden campaign mulls possible ‘climate czar’ position Politico. “One person familiar with the Biden team’s discussions said there was no firm list of candidates for such a role, but some of the names that have circulated include former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Bill Clinton adviser John Podesta” [sobs quietly].

Realignment and Legitimacy

It’s Time to Put Some Muscle Behind the 25th Amendment The Nation. Has it occurred to anyone else that the “Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office” might also install President Harris?

Progressive Groups Are Preparing to Thwart a Possible Trump-Led Coup. Here’s How. In These Times

America’s favorite ersatz Nobelist loses his mind:

One of the more likely and more unfortunate outcomes of election 2020 is that liberal Democrats will both believe and say they’ve defeated fascism — without having done any serious thinking about it. Brunch awaits!

Why Liberals Pretend They Have No Power The Atlantic

Trump’s America Remains Stuck in the Shadow of Reagan Boston Review

Our Consensus Reality Has Shattered The Atlantic. An “epistemological crisis,” as the Trillbillies say.

We Can’t Ignore Rural Voter Resentment Jacobin. Yes, we can.

Three Cheers for Socialism Commonweal. From February, still germane (especially after the Pope’s latest encyclical).

Police State Watch

Maine Spy Agency Pushed Absurd Claim That TikTok Teen Trained Terrorists Mainer. From August, still germane.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Five Eyes and Japan call for Facebook backdoor to monitor crime Nikkei Asian Review

Guillotine Watch

Social justice:

Class Warfare

Born with two strikes WaPo. On George Floyd.

On Feudal Exploitation Stumbling and Mumbling (AA).

Forcing you to buy the rope with which to hang yourself:

And again:

Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor MIT Technology Review

Hidden cameras and secret trackers reveal where Amazon returns end up CBC

The Island That Humans Can’t Conquer Haikai Magazine

Antidote du jour (AM):

AM writes: “I think these two (Penny and Emmett) are defective – neither one is on my laptop!!”

Bonus antidote. Normally, I avoid images of animals in zoos, but this is exceptional:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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