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stopdiggin

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Member since: Fri Jul 6, 2018, 07:29 PM
Number of posts: 7,378

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Bo Ramsey

don't have any particular reason - other than any time this guy picks up a guitar ... nice things happen.




diamonds and rust

because -- for some reason this thing is echoing (and I believe that is the right word) around in my mind today. In any event - it holds up. Dylan, in most opinion, wrote circles around virtually everybody else - including a former girlfriend. But, Joan squeezed out her own keeper here.

Rep. Ilhan Omar: Accountability For Russia Means Abandoning U.S. 'Hypocrisy'

- HuffPost, April, 13, 2022 - Mounting evidence of widespread Russian atrocities in Ukraine is spurring the Biden administration and lawmakers from both parties to demand justice at a global level — specifically, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Now Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is challenging them to boost that prospect by making the U.S. a member of the court and repealing a George W. Bush-era law that requires the U.S. to block the court from investigating Americans.

“We’ve engaged in a process for a long time of delegitimizing these international institutions that essentially call for accountability, and I think it is really disturbing that we now think they are powerful enough … to hold Russia accountable. It’s easy for people to see the hypocrisy in those two statements when we’ve said previously that we don’t believe in the ability of the court to [be] unbiased,” Omar said on Wednesday.

- snip - “It’s really important for us not to have a law on the books that says in many ways it is OK for everyone to be prosecuted” but not Americans, Omar told HuffPost. “Think about just how much more powerful of a statement it would be if we didn’t just call for accountability for war crimes in Ukraine in holding Russians accountable for the possible war crimes they have committed but if we actually had skin in the game.”

- snip - She pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the court at a hearing last year, and he responded that America had its own mechanisms for justice.

“Many people around the world can say that if they want,” the congresswoman told HuffPost. “True justice is blind and if we are to say we are the people who respect law and order, we can’t create exemptions where our people aren’t subjected to the rule of law and order.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ilhan-omar-russia-international-criminal-court_n_6257384fe4b06c2ea32686b1

El Rayo-X. Holding up pretty well.

She Took Off My Romeo


Pay the Man


Most of the World's Vaccines Likely Won't Prevent Infection From Omicron

mRNA vaccines are performing much better than those using older technology (and available to the largest part of the world). A severe dilemma develops in vaccine promotion and messaging.
- NYTimes, Global Health, Dec. 19, 2021 -
- snip - A growing body of preliminary research suggests the Covid vaccines used in most of the world offer almost no defense against becoming infected by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from Omicron, which is the most crucial goal. But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world.

The other shots — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines manufactured in China and Russia — do little to nothing to stop the spread of Omicron, early research shows. And because most countries have built their inoculation programs around these vaccines, the gap could have a profound impact on the course of the pandemic.

The disparity in the ability of countries to weather the pandemic will almost certainly deepen. And the news about limited vaccine efficacy against Omicron infection could depress demand for vaccination throughout the developing world, where many people are already hesitant or preoccupied with other health problems.

Antibodies are the first line of defense induced by vaccines. But the shots also stimulate the growth of T cells, and preliminary studies suggest that these T cells still recognize the Omicron variant, which is important in preventing severe disease.
“What you lose first is protection against asymptomatic mild infection, what you retain much better is protection against severe disease and death,” said John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. He called it “a silver lining” that Omicron so far appears less lethal than the Delta variant.

India's COVID Surge: The Curious Facets of U.S. Response

interesting take by Empty Wheel April, 27, 2021
Article coming at this from a slightly different angle than what we're hearing elsewhere. Personally, I think the U.S. has an obligation to do as much as it can. It's a pandemic! But ... Is it fair to be saddling the U.S. with 'inadequate response' -- given the deplorable (near criminal) performance of Modi and his government?

https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/04/27/indias-covid-surge-curious-facets-us-response/

The volume and tenor of pleas for help escalated to new heights this past week as India was engulfed in the pandemic.

You’ve likely seen images of numerous funeral pyres and many graves along with sick outside overfull hospitals.

Apart from the pyres, it looks like Wuhan in January 2020, the U.S. in March 2020, and Brazil at the end of this March.

And yet there is something really wrong here, very off. The case counts and deaths are truths which can’t be escaped but the insistence the U.S. somehow is failing to meet India’s needs is off base. - snip -


- snip - In the mean time invective against the Biden administration and Big Pharma has continued, some of it based in what looks like weak and less-than-thorough reporting.

Claims that Big Pharma has decided profits come before the lives of India’s people follow reports that Big Pharma refused to give India patents or transfer intellectual property.

Except that Big Pharma is represented in India by AstraZeneca, which is making their adenovirus-vector vaccine in country. It’s the same vaccine which has been used in Europe, and is still in FDA safety review here.

India also has its own Big Pharma in Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin vaccine in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. The vaccine left Phase 3 trials in early January.

Yet intelligent people continue to harangue the U.S. and Big Pharma about their refusal to help India with the IP needed for licensing. They retweet stuff like this:



The account that wrote this was opened only weeks ago in January 2021. There’s almost nothing in its profile to suggest this is a human with credible background education or experience; the account hasn’t been validated by Twitter. Note the number of times this has been shared by retweet or quote tweet, yet the majority of roughly 6000 tweets by this account are about pop culture.

This is the kind of social media content which ramped up tension around U.S. response to India’s ongoing COVID surge and continues to do so because it remains uncontested.

The issue the tweet focused on was vaccine manufacturers’ request for indemnification by countries which use its vaccine or licensing to manufacture vaccines. How odd that an account tweeting about beauty products and the Kardashians chose to phrase indemnification this way. - snip -

2 Republican Senators Post Photos of Elijah Cummings in John Lewis Tributes

ouch! That's gotta' sting a little bit!
Predicting staffing changes in certain offices.

Except the photo Mr. Rubio posted was not of Mr. Lewis, but of another congressman: Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who died in October. Mr. Rubio also used the photo of himself with Mr. Cummings as his Twitter profile picture for a brief time.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/us/marco-rubio-elijah-cummings-john-lewis.html

Woman's Death in California Upends Virus Timeline in U.S.

Resets the timeline in the U.S. -- Also reemphasizes "community" contact vector.

NYTimes (no paywall)
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/coronavirus-live-coverage.html

- snip -- The revelation that a coronavirus death took place in the United States in early February shifts the understanding of its arrival in this country and changes the picture of what the nation was contending with by the time government officials began taking action.
-- The first Covid-19 death in the United States had previously been thought to be on Feb. 26 in Seattle, one of the worst-hit cities in the country.
-- Officials in Santa Clara County said Wednesday that a newly discovered coronavirus-linked death Feb. 6, the earliest known death in the United States caused by the virus, was one of more than a dozen deaths in the county that the medical examiner had suspicions about and ordered investigated.

- snip -- The Feb. 6 death was a 57-year-old woman who died at her home in Silicon Valley, officials said Wednesday.
-- The announcement has reset the timeline of the spread of infection in the United States.
-- Officials have said that the death was believed to have been the result of community spread, not travel to another country.

Antibody Test, Seen as Key to Reopening Country, Does Not Yet Deliver

Good (layman accesible/understandable) info at NYTimes. (not behind a paywall for Covid reporting) Wish it were better news, but .. Calling it a hodge-podge is probably being kind.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/us/coronavirus-antibody-tests.html?

-snip -- In recent weeks, the United States has seen the first rollout of blood tests for coronavirus antibodies, widely heralded as crucial tools to assess the reach of the pandemic in the United States, restart the economy and reintegrate society. But for all their promise, the tests — intended to signal whether people may have built immunity to the virus — are already raising alarms.
- snip -- In Laredo, officials discovered the tests they received were woefully inadequate. The local health department found them to have a reliability of about 20 percent, far from the 93 to 97 percent the company had claimed. A police investigation led to a federal seizure of the tests.
- snip -- More than 90 companies have jumped into the market since the F.D.A. eased its rules and allowed antibody tests to be sold without formal federal review or approval. -snip - Their products vary. Some test only for a transient antibody that spikes while the body is in the throes of an active infection. An antibody that peaks about four weeks after infection and typically marks longer-term immunity is a separate target. There are tests that look for both antibodies; others also look for a third involved in respiratory infections.
- snip -- Rapid tests are by far the easiest to administer. But they are also the most unreliable — so much so that the World Health Organization recommends against their use. Most are manufactured in China. Reports of countries that quickly bought millions have just as swiftly been followed by accounts of poor performance. For example, Britain recently said the millions of rapid tests it had ordered from China were not sensitive enough to detect antibodies except in people who were severely ill. In Spain, the testing push turned into a fiasco last month after the initial batch of kits it received had an accuracy of 30 percent, rather than the advertised 80 percent.
- snip -- In an effort to speed up access, the F.D.A. apparently did not fully consider how these tests would be administered. The agency released a guidance document saying that antibody tests could be performed at “point-of-care” settings, indicating that doctors, nurses and others could give them to patients in their offices. But agency officials also acknowledged that under federal law, if a test has not been authorized by the agency, it must be conducted in so-called high-complexity laboratories, like some large commercial facilities or public health labs. The officials decline to provide additional clarification.

- snip -- Less than 5 percent of the U.S. population may be infected, and even in hot zones like New York or New Orleans, the prevalence may not be higher than 10 to 15 percent, according to Dr. Osterholm. In China, early screening in hard-hit Wuhan indicates that only about 3 percent of the population has antibodies against the new coronavirus.
-- When the proportion of people exposed is that low, the tests’ false positive rate — signaling antibodies where there are none — can limit the tests’ utility.
-- Even Cellex’s F.D.A.-authorized test has a false positive rate of about 5 percent. That is still a significant margin of error: In a community where 5 percent of people have had the virus, Dr. Osterholm said, there would be as many false positives as true ones.


The good news .. tests are (finally) becoming more available .. in some situations, and in some places.
The not so good news .. they're mostly a mess, and they're likely not really giving us the information we need.

'There Will Be Losses': How a Captain's Plea Exposed a Rift in the Military

Good reporting on the incident. Well worth the read (and the Times is not behind a paywall)

Among other things, 1) Modly was advised by military leaders to "wait for the investigation" .. but pleasing Trump (or fear of displeasing Trump) caused him to act. 2) The address aboard the Roosevelt horrified civilian and military alike. Modly was probably gone before he set down back in the states. 3) Military are concerned that the incident highlights not only problems with this virus and this carrier .. but also systemic issues dealing with discipline, respect and command.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/us/politics/coronavirus-roosevelt-carrier-crozier.html?
-snip - The episode shows how the military, the most structured and hierarchical part of the government, has tried to adjust to an erratic president, and how in a hollowed-out leadership, acting secretaries have replaced those confirmed by the Senate.
-snip - ... infuriated Mr. Modly. His next actions stunned Pentagon officials and effectively turned the crew of the Roosevelt even more solidly against him. Mr. Modly boarded a Gulfstream business jet at an airfield in suburban Washington and made the 35-hour round-trip flight to Guam, at a cost of $243,116.65, according to a Navy official, confirming a report in USA Today.
- snip - Then he went to the Roosevelt and delivered a 15-minute diatribe over the ship’s loudspeakers berating the crew for cheering for its captain. He called Captain Crozier either “too naïve” or “too stupid” to command an aircraft carrier. He told the sailors they should never trust the media. He blamed China for the virus. Less than 30 minutes later, after taking no questions from the sailors, he was gone.
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