Thunder outside my apartment, thunder in Portland

It isn’t literally true, at least that I know, that “I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder.” I usually wake up at some point anyway, catch up on email, and then go back to bed. But I did wake up. And there was thunder (figure 1).
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Fig. 1. 72-hour gif, composed of Eastern Canada satellite photographs.


Protests

The one thing we can say about the Trump administration sending in federal forces, which has drawn criticism even from within at least some agencies involved,[1] against Black Lives Matter protests is that the administration is being stupid.

It has drawn people in from the sidelines to join the protests[2] and numerous mayors are asking that the forces be withdrawn, saying that their activities exacerbate the situation.[3] One way of looking at this request might be that the mayors may be seeking to relieve pressure for change that they may have thought had been alleviated as the protests went “nonviolent.”

But really, now, local and state politicians are now caught between federal forces and their own populations. How they handle it is anyone’s guess.

Hamed Aleaziz, “‘Disturbing And Demoralizing’: DHS Employees Are Worried The Portland Protest Response Is Destroying Their Agency’s Reputation,” Buzzfeed, July 21, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/22/us/portland-protests-mayors-withdraw-federal-forces/index.html

Bill Chappell, “Federal Agents Will Be ‘Clearly Identified’ In Kansas City, Mo., U.S. Attorney Says,” National Public Radio, July 21, 2020, https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/07/21/893936041/federal-agents-will-be-clearly-identified-in-kansas-city-u-s-attorney-says

Marissa J. Lang, “‘MomBloc’ and protest first-timers march into Portland streets, moved by the aggressive tactics of federal agents,” Washington Post, July 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/21/mombloc-protest-first-timers-march-into-portland-streets-moved-by-aggressive-tactics-federal-troops/

Madeline Holcombe, “More than a dozen mayors join Portland in asking Trump administration to withdraw federal forces,” CNN, July 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/22/us/portland-protests-mayors-withdraw-federal-forces/index.html


Pandemic

My usual caution about ludicrously low response rates[4] applies to poll results indicating many Amerikkkans think COVID-19 death tolls have been exaggerated.[5] And I simply can’t find it credible that people actually believe this shit. I think they’re desperately trying to persuade themselves.

Read the Washington Post article on isolation[6] carefully. In my reading, it does not cover contingencies systematically and this is obviously something not to fuck up.

Ariana Eunjung Cha, “How long should you isolate if you test positive for the coronavirus? At least 10 days after symptom onset,” Washington Post, July 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/21/how-long-should-you-isolate-if-you-test-positive-coronavirus-new-cdc-guidance-says-10-days-not-14/

Tom McCarthy, “US public increasingly skeptical of Covid-19 death toll, poll finds,” Guardian, July 21, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/21/us-coronavirus-death-toll-public-opinion-poll-accuracy


  1. [1]Hamed Aleaziz, “‘Disturbing And Demoralizing’: DHS Employees Are Worried The Portland Protest Response Is Destroying Their Agency’s Reputation,” Buzzfeed, July 21, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/22/us/portland-protests-mayors-withdraw-federal-forces/index.html
  2. [2]Marissa J. Lang, “‘MomBloc’ and protest first-timers march into Portland streets, moved by the aggressive tactics of federal agents,” Washington Post, July 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/21/mombloc-protest-first-timers-march-into-portland-streets-moved-by-aggressive-tactics-federal-troops/
  3. [3]Madeline Holcombe, “More than a dozen mayors join Portland in asking Trump administration to withdraw federal forces,” CNN, July 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/22/us/portland-protests-mayors-withdraw-federal-forces/index.html
  4. [4]Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/
  5. [5]Tom McCarthy, “US public increasingly skeptical of Covid-19 death toll, poll finds,” Guardian, July 21, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/21/us-coronavirus-death-toll-public-opinion-poll-accuracy
  6. [6]Ariana Eunjung Cha, “How long should you isolate if you test positive for the coronavirus? At least 10 days after symptom onset,” Washington Post, July 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/21/how-long-should-you-isolate-if-you-test-positive-coronavirus-new-cdc-guidance-says-10-days-not-14/