Human Stock Market | Germany Re-Closing | A Pandemic Prayer
June 25, 2020
“Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience – waiting, and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.” ― Gary Paulsen
“He who can have patience can have what he will.” ― Benjamin Franklin
China’s Cold Shoulder
(Kevin Frayer via Getty Images)
COVID-19 may have taught some patriotic Chinese students studying abroad an important lesson — one they hadn’t seen coming.
James Liu, part of the so-called “Little Pinks,” was finishing studies at an American Midwest university. Always patriotic and quick to defend his homeland, the 21-year-old condemned Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests and chastised anyone calling a new disease the “Chinese virus.”
Liu hadn’t experienced one of his country’s bedrock principles: National interests come before an individual’s needs. But like so many others, he found himself stranded abroad by the pandemic. Flights home vanished: the Chinese government had restricted international travel and told expatriates to stay put. Overseas students who questioned why they couldn’t return home were called spoiled brats who could jeopardize China’s success in containing the epidemic.
Daisy Leng was a third-year exchange student completing her program at Alabama’s Troy University. She wrote on Weibo that she loved her country and had fought against anyone who dared smear China. But after government restrictions caused four failed attempts to get a flight home, Leng admitted: “My heart turned cold.”
As of April 2, Liu and Leng were among almost a half million Chinese students living in the US. Unable to return home, they became part of a minority group expected to sacrifice for the benefit of the majority, much like government critics, Hong Kong protesters, and others whom these young patriots had criticized online. In mid-May, Liu wrote on Weibo: “My feelings are increasingly complicated. The country I loved doesn’t want me back.”
Exposure to foreign cultures and languages hasn’t made many of these students more receptive to foreign ideas. They grew up amid tightening censorship and increasingly strident nationalistic propaganda. Social media, especially WeChat, is so powerful that, while abroad, they mostly live in a Chinese bubble. They’ll likely remain patriots, but hopefully with a more nuanced view of their country, and less inclination to accept at face value everything their government says.
- Residents and local businesses in a community in Germany’s most populous state have been forced back into strict lockdown following a coronavirus outbreak at a local slaughterhouse. Schools, bars, and museums in North Rhine-Westphalia’s Gütersloh district had been gradually reopening their doors until this Wednesday.
- The community’s 360,000 residents were forced back into lockdown after over 1,700 employees at the Tönnies abattoir and meat processing plant tested positive.
- The incident has renewed fears of a second wave of the virus as hundreds of thousands of Germans are embarking on foreign holidays to Spain, Greece and Portugal; travel agents were inundated with calls and emails from upset residents worried about their summer breaks.
- Local health officials said the measures would be reviewed weekly, but the move shows the anger governments around the world may face if they force released communities back into lockdown. (Guardian)
Pandemic Time is Parade Time
(Handout via Getty Images)
- President Putin went ahead with a massive WWII-style military parade on Wednesday, completely disregarding a pandemic still raging in his country. Earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the 14,000 soldiers taking part were being monitored, were immune, or hadn’t shown any symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Despite these precautions, there were few masks and no social distancing among onlookers crowded along the barricades on central Moscow streets. This year’s annual parade of troops and tanks across Red Square was celebrating 75 years since the USSR’s defeat of Nazi Germany. The parade was originally scheduled for May 9, but postponed until May 24, which also happens to be the day before an “all people’s vote” on constitutional changes passed by parliament this spring.
- If the vote passes, it paves a way for Putin to remain in power for another two decades. Russia has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world after the US and Brazil. 7,176 new infections were announced Wednesday, bringing the Communist country’s total to over 600,000. At least 8,513 have died, a number widely believed to be underreported. (Politico)
- Marathon vote on extending Putin’s rule begins amid coronavirus epidemic (Reuters)
Additional World News
- Venezuela criticizes U.S. ‘provocation’ after navy operation (Reuters)
- Parts Of Myanmar Unaware Of COVID-19 Due To Internet Ban, Rights Advocates Say (NPR)
- Trudeau under high-profile pressure to end Huawei exec’s extradition, even if it rankles Trump (Politico)
- Kosovo’s President, Hashim Thaci, Is Indicted for Role in Serbia War (NYT, $)
- IMF says decline in global growth worse than forecast (BBC)
- Which country has the world’s best health care system? (Vox)
- Virus Cases Are Soaring in Texas. But Closing Down Again Is a ‘Last Option.’ (NYT, $)
- New York imposes quarantine on nine US states (BBC)
- What Contact Tracing Tells Us About Cluster Spread Of The Coronavirus And Protests (NPR)
- US records highest one-day total in coronavirus cases since April (Guardian)
- Dexamethasone and the Recovery Trial’s High-Speed Science (Wired, $)
- Virus Gains Steam Across Latin America (NYT, $)
- Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak (BBC). This webpage provides an interesting visual representation of COVID-19 outbreaks across the globe, with an interactive map.
- The Dudes Who Won’t Wear Masks (Atlantic, $)
- With plastic pollution on the rise, maybe you’ve been trying to shrink your environmental impact. While it’s hard to find eco-responsible cleaning products that actually work, Dropps has found the formula. They’ve redefined the home cleaning and care industry by harnessing the power of plants to create laundry and dishwasher detergents that are better for people and the planet.
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- All pods are dosed exactly for your needs so you never over-pour or overpay again, and you can sign up for auto-shipments to save big (you can pause, skip, or cancel anytime). Give Dropps a try today and use code DAILYPNUT15 for $15 off your first order of $40+.
Trump’s Laws: Avoiding a Stone Cold Sentence When Justice is Not Blind
- A six-year veteran of the US Justice Department testified live before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on Attorney General William Barr’s politicization of the department.
- Aaron Zelinsky, an assistant US attorney and key deputy to former special counsel Robert Mueller, told committee members that “Roger Stone was treated differently because of politics.“
- Zelinsky was one of four prosecutors trying the case against Stone last November. Stone was found guilty of all seven charges against him. Prosecutors recommended the judge impose the appropriate sentence under federal guidelines — a prison term of 7-9 years. DOJ senior leadership began applying heavy pressure to overrule the prosecutors’ recommendation in favor of a lesser sentence, based on Stone’s ties to President Trump.
- The pressure resulted in all four prosecutors withdrawing from the case in February in protest. Zelinsky told the panel that the department’s intervention in the sentencing recommendation was “unprecedented.” He added: “I was also told that the acting U.S. attorney was giving Stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was ‘afraid of the president.’” (CBS News, CNN)
- ‘An embarrassment’: Trump’s justice department goes quiet on voting rights (Guardian)
- Bolton’s Book Won’t Make a Difference in Trumpland (Time)
- Trump’s corrupt dealings with Turkey are some of the most startling stories in Bolton’s book (WaPo, $)
- Trump family tries to block publication of book by president’s niece (Guardian)
Praying For A Pandemic
- When Donald Trump enters a church full of supporters, excitement is in the air. But at a rally at Dream City Church in Phoenix, AZ on Tuesday, there was likely something else circulating: COVID-19.
- As thousands of maskless college students packed into pews to support Trump, the mega-church announced that patrons were being protected by a cutting-edge air filtration system. In a video released by Dream City, pastor Luke Bartlett claimed, “when you come into our auditorium, 99 percent of COVID is gone, killed, if it was there in the first place. You can know when you come here, you’ll be safe and protected. Thank God for great technology and thank God for being proactive.”
- Emboldened by this miraculous technology, Arizonans filled the church to maximum capacity amidst a drastic uptick in statewide cases. However, just before Trump took the stage, the church walked back claims of COVID-free air. CleanAir EXP, a local company responsible for the filtration system, clarified that the unit had never been tested on the novel coronavirus.
- The virus-killing system — which has been proven 99% effective in small spaces on viruses similar to COVID-19 — uses charged ions to clump together viral particles, which can either disable the virus or cause it to fall out of the air. Air purification technologies like this are not new, but could certainly rise in prominence as we learn to coexist with the coronavirus.
- The effectiveness of CleanAir EXP’s system on COVID-19 remains in question, but even if it is proven to be a viable purifier, experts say that Tuesday’s rally was irresponsible. Even in an auditorium with filtered air, the density of maskless students would allow for direct transmission of disease, rendering the technology useless. (NYT)
Additional USA News
- Boston Lawmakers Vote To Ban Use Of Facial Recognition Technology By The City (NPR)
- ‘Too early to call’: why it’s unlikely we’ll have a winner on US election night (Guardian)
- Progressives snatch much-needed wins in primary gauntlet (Politico)
- GOP senator blocked China sanctions bill he supports, at request of White House (Politico)
- California seeks to force Uber and Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees within weeks (Verge)
- There’s a Reason Trump Is Fighting Hard for Arizona (NYT, $)
- Three men indicted over death of black jogger (BBC)
- Tucson Police Chief Offers Resignation After Latino Man Dies in Custody (NYT, $)
- How police reform collapsed in the Senate (Politico)
- Military helicopters descended on protesters in Washington, DC as a ‘show of force.’ Here’s how close they got. (WaPo, $) Daily Pnut’s Tim has seen troops behave irresponsibly overseas. For that reason, he can’t help but think what a horrible idea it is for military troops to be deployed domestically. A recipe for disaster especially if protests are peaceful.
Long on Humanity, Short on Stupidity
- Human IPO is a marketplace for investing in people. Individuals who “go public” on the platform can sell up to 500 hours of their time on the open market, at one hour per “share,” at a price of their choosing. Share owners can redeem the individual’s time at their discretion. Like other equities, a person’s value goes up and down depending on market conditions, but investors are betting those hours will increase in value over time.
- The founders of Human IPO conceived the idea in 2018 after a conversation about how the best asset at any company is its people. They agreed there was untapped potential in the business of “human capital” — the intangible value of a person at work. Human IPO launched very quietly in October with the tagline “Issue, trade, and redeem human equity backed by time.”
- Currently Human IPO lets individuals set their own value, without handing investors the usual available tools like numbers, revenue, market share, etc. that help to value a particular company preparing for an offering. But the company is developing a machine-learning algorithm to value humans using data from platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. The metrics will combine analysis of a person’s work experience, career progression in their industry, and other factors to suggest an initial stock” price. (Wired)
- From ‘Empty’ To ‘Satisfied’: Susan Burton On Eating Disorders (NPR) As we get older we realize just how important it is to eat right and to embrace a culture of less consumption overall, and especially as it pertains to eating just what one needs.
- A Black Hole’s Lunch Provides a Treat for Astronomers (NYT, $)
- NASA Mars Helicopter Will Be Red Planet’s ‘Wright Brothers Moment’ (NYT, $) May we not discover new worlds to export our viruses. And if we are still finding new viruses on Earth, then we can only imagine how many alien viruses are just waiting to ambush us so they can eradicate us.
- Tanzanite: Tanzanian miner becomes overnight millionaire (BBC) If anyone discovers adamantium or vibranium, then please write to us.
- How to engage with life when you feel down: Withdrawing from activities you enjoy is both a product and cause of low mood. Break the cycle with behavioural activation (Psyche)
- What Makes Some People More Resilient Than Others: An individual’s resilience is dictated by a combination of genetics, personal history, environment and situational context. So far, research has found the genetic part to be relatively small. (NYT, $)
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