Oh, gee. For sure, nobody saw a new COVID-19 variant coming, now, did they?

Migration

There is a new blog post entitled, “Why, for all their bluster, countries will fail to stop migration.”

Dulcie Lee, “Channel deaths: More boats arrive after 27 people drown,” British Broadcasting Corporation, November 25, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59412329


Academic pedophiles

There is a new blog post entitled, “Scholarly pedophilia.”

New Zealand Herald, “Professor resigns following backlash to plea for paedophile’s rights,” November 25, 2021, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/professor-resigns-following-backlash-to-plea-for-paedophiles-rights/X4V3CMLSFRRHOW37YJML42KMWQ/


Work

Andrew Mollica and Sarah Chaney Cambon, “Where U.S. Workers Are Quitting Jobs at Record Rates,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-u-s-workers-are-quitting-jobs-at-record-rates-11637836201


Democrats

When it comes to Democrats being “out of touch,” the Third Way is not whom I’d consult:

Written by Third Way, a Democrat think tank, and ALG Research, it highlights that voters are convinced that the economy is doing poorly. While inflation is uncomfortably at more than 6 per cent, job creation is soaring and wages are increasing rapidly.[1]

This, of course, supports a neoliberal agenda of budget cuts, especially for social services, but remarkably, never, ever, for the military, and of treating labor as a cost[2] rather than as people who need to survive.[3] The real story with inflation in the present situation is nuanced,[4] not reducing neatly to neoliberal sound bites but, of course, the entirely discredited latter[5] is what the Third Way is all about. Neoliberalism, nonetheless, rumbles on, like a zombie, because taking care of the rich, and for the Democrats, their “donor class,” is infinitely more important than taking care of people.

It’s worth noting here that this story[6] appears in the Times, which is ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch. My revised list of issues the Democrats have failed to deal with:

The real story here isn’t just about inflation, but about a whole host of things the Democrats have failed to accomplish, including many that are existential for a great many people, and that the Democrats have simply stopped talking about.

Alistair Dawber, “Voters think we’re out of touch, finds Democrat report,” Times, November 25, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/voters-think-were-out-of-touch-finds-democrat-report-zzt8q52xj


Pandemic

My planned trip west to visit my mother and retrieve more stuff left behind when I moved east back to Pittsburgh was already in severe doubt: This has been an expensive year and my finances are unlikely to support the trip. Case counts have been rising both in Allegheny County where I live and in Sonoma County where she lives and this added to the doubt. Now I’m saying, forget it. Unless there’s both some really good news on COVID-19 and some really good news on my finances, it isn’t happening.

(Inter)national

The highly contagious variant, has double the number of mutations of the Delta variant and is currently driving an explosion of cases in the region around Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital.

Late on Thursday evening, Britain put six southern African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia – on a revamped red list and said it would stop flights on Friday until a system was put in place to quarantine passengers.

Israel quickly followed suit suspending all travel to and from South Africa. On Friday the European Union said it would propose banning travel from southern Africa.

The new variant, which is likely to be named ‘Nu’, was first discovered in Botswana, but cases have been detected in Hong Kong. Scientists say it is almost entirely behind an explosion of cases in Southern Africa’s Gauteng Province in the last week.[8]

This will likely be attributable to a failure to distribute vaccines internationally.

Peta Thornycroft and Will Brown, “Will the ‘Nu’ variant bypass vaccines? South African experts say it will take ‘weeks’ to find out,” Telegraph, November 26, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/will-nu-variant-bypass-vaccines-south-african-experts-say-will/

Economy

Joe Wallace, Quentin Webb, and Suryatapa Bhattacharya, “Stocks, Oil Drop on Concerns Over New Covid-19 Variant,” Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stock-markets-dow-update-11-26-2021-11637901748

Supply chain

Jon Sindreu, “When Will Shortages End? Here’s Why Forecasts Are Often Wrong,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-will-shortages-end-heres-why-forecasts-are-often-wrong-11637841057


  1. [1]Alistair Dawber, “Voters think we’re out of touch, finds Democrat report,” Times, November 25, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/voters-think-were-out-of-touch-finds-democrat-report-zzt8q52xj
  2. [2]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html; Amir Fleischmann, “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative,” Jacobin, March 5, 2017, https://jacobinmag.com/2017/03/fiscal-conservative-social-services-austerity-save-money; Jason Hickel, “Progress and its discontents,” New Internationalist, August 7, 2019, https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents; Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); Stephanie Kelton, The Deficit Myth (New York: Public Affairs, 2021); Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/austerity_never_works_deficit_hawks_are_amoral_and_wrong/; Eric Levitz, “Neoliberalism Died of COVID. Long Live Neoliberalism!” Review of Shutdown, by Adam Tooze, New York, October 14, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/10/neoliberalism-died-of-covid-long-live-neoliberalism.html; Dennis Loo, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (Glendale, CA: Larkmead, 2011); Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel,” Nation, July 6, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/article/austerity-has-failed-an-open-letter-from-thomas-piketty-to-angela-merkel/; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Austerity-Has-Been-Tested-and/139255/; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/19/paul_krugmans_right_austerity_kills/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “The right to survive,” Not Housebroken, October 17, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/10/17/the-right-to-survive/
  4. [4]Hanna Ziady, “The perfect storm making everything you need more expensive,” CNN, June 9, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/09/business/rising-prices-inventories-post-pandemic/index.html
  5. [5]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html; Amir Fleischmann, “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative,” Jacobin, March 5, 2017, https://jacobinmag.com/2017/03/fiscal-conservative-social-services-austerity-save-money; Jason Hickel, “Progress and its discontents,” New Internationalist, August 7, 2019, https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents; Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); Stephanie Kelton, The Deficit Myth (New York: Public Affairs, 2021); Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/austerity_never_works_deficit_hawks_are_amoral_and_wrong/; Eric Levitz, “Neoliberalism Died of COVID. Long Live Neoliberalism!” Review of Shutdown, by Adam Tooze, New York, October 14, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/10/neoliberalism-died-of-covid-long-live-neoliberalism.html; Dennis Loo, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (Glendale, CA: Larkmead, 2011); Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel,” Nation, July 6, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/article/austerity-has-failed-an-open-letter-from-thomas-piketty-to-angela-merkel/; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Austerity-Has-Been-Tested-and/139255/; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/19/paul_krugmans_right_austerity_kills/
  6. [6]Alistair Dawber, “Voters think we’re out of touch, finds Democrat report,” Times, November 25, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/voters-think-were-out-of-touch-finds-democrat-report-zzt8q52xj
  7. [7]Chris Arnold, “Evictions rising even as rental help from Congress reaches millions of people,” National Public Radio, November 11, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/11/11/1053540080/evictions-rising-even-as-rental-help-from-congress-reaches-millions-of-people
  8. [8]Peta Thornycroft and Will Brown, “Will the ‘Nu’ variant bypass vaccines? South African experts say it will take ‘weeks’ to find out,” Telegraph, November 26, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/will-nu-variant-bypass-vaccines-south-african-experts-say-will/

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