Newspaper Watch

Telegraph subs!

Einstein’s general theory of relativity, published in 1915, which explains gravity as a consequence of the curvature of space-time created by the presence of mass and energy, has never before been proved in the existence of a star orbiting a supermassive black hole.

But scientists can now confirm that the orbit of the star, called S2, is shaped like a rosette, which is supported by the physicist general theory of relativity.

There an s and a ‘ missing there. Could be ‘s and could be s’, dependent upon whether we want to say the theory of the specific Einstein, or of all the profession. But must do better, report later for your beating.

Tsk, I mean, tsk

He appeared frequently in Hong Kong, flying by supersonic Comet.

That the Comet was supersonic comes as a hell of a surprise to all sorts of people. Like all the people who designed, built and flew her. Concorde however…..

Still Times Obits are the record of things as they are…..

Well done to the Independent here, oh yes, well done

In the United States, wealth is extremely concentrated among the wealthy.

Gee, ya think?

It’s an odd marketing strategy really. When hiring US freelances to write pieces go for those who would fail to get into Salon on the grounds of excessive partisanship and insufficient linguistic skills. You know, those beaten to the brass ring by Amanduh.

Unconvinced it’ll work really.

No, really, no, Times Subs.

Acceleration and speed are not the same thing:

In the second quarter, growth is forecast to plunge by 30%. Goldman Sachs predicts a 9% drop in the first quarter and an astonishing 34% slump in the second.

GDP growth was, before C, around 2%. So, a 30% drop in growth would mean a fall in growth to perhaps 1.4%. This would be mildly irritating and nothing more.

If GDP us about $20 trillion (roughly right) then a 30% drop in GDP means a fall to $14 trillion. This is slightly confused by the way that the US uses monthly and or quarterly GDP but reports them at an annualised rate. Ho hum.

Still, a shaving of the growth rate by 30% is significantly different from a change in GDP of 30%, yes?

More normally this error runs the other way, people mistaking changes in the rate for changes in the underlying. Still an error though.

Oh dear Amanduh

But there’s a reason these false or unproven claims are resonating with the ordinary citizens of Trumpistan. The hope that there’s a hard-to-get miracle cure that will save them speaks directly to the poisonous social Darwinism that guides modern conservatism. It reflects deep hostility to the very concept of a shared public good and a fierce attachment to a racialized ideology of individualism that treats public goods such as health care as things to be hoarded by those with the privilege, money and status to do so.

If it’s a public good then it can’t be hoarded. That’s what a public good means, no excludability.

Casuistry at Unherd

Why doesn’t Britain value its farmers?

Bollocks, Britain spends £3 billion a year on subsidising farmers.

This crisis has shown we need to think very carefully about how the nation feeds itself

How might that be then?

Last week, for example, sheep prices collapsed, because the system was suddenly frozen with confusion and log jams.

Genius seems to think that a fall in the price of food is evidence of a shortage of food.

Norway has a deeply protectionist food system that supports its farmers as a matter of national strategic importance. Farmers there, for example, produce 80-90% of the national demand for beef and sheep meat. Since large areas of Norway aren’t globally competitive for agriculture, it doesn’t want to ‘outsource’ what food production it is capable of and put its rural communities — where family-run farms drive the local economy — at risk. It may turn out to be a very sensible policy. Ask yourself whether you trust Donald Trump to keep food supply lines to Britain open in a time of genuine food crisis? Or whether he might look after America’s interests first?

Given that the Americans are banging on the door asking us to buy their food we might have a clue. Another one being that when we were in crisis the Americans filled the Atlantic Ocean with ships carrying food to us.

Things are going to get a whole lot worse if, after this is all over, we continue as though nothing has changed and throw British farmers to the mercy of global free trade and systems that are big, bad and ugly. We need to protect this key national resource so it is there for us through thick and thin.

Because if another disaster strikes — and it will — then I want a significant share of my diet to be available within walking distance of where I live. I want to know where I can source food for my family, and if that means I pay a bit more for food in the good times, then so be it.

And that’s not what the correspondent, a Lake District farmer is asking. Rather, he’s asking that everyone else pay more for their food so that Lake district farmers gain more subsidy.

At which point, of course, fuck ‘im.

Groceries Prices in United Kingdom are 36.00% lower than in Norway

Him and the horse he rode in on.

Times Subs!

We may be tiring of tales about the outraged shock and awe of us non-key workers mewed at home with family, wifi and slightly restricted shopping opportunities.

Mewed? Some derivation of, or neologism building upon, mewling and puling? Would be fun it if were but rather more likely a typo for immured, no?

(Spotter, Chris M)

This is fascinating

Truthdig (who they? – Ed) is now on “hiatus” as a result of a stroke and what looks like a lock out. Eliciting this:

In a third statement penned by the Truthdig staffers who were terminated, staff reiterated an unfortunate truth in media — namely, that the owners and managers of publications aren’t always aligned with the publication’s values.

Erm, who is it that defines the values if it isn’t the owners and or managers?

You sodding what?

This is worthy of The Guardian. Which did, in fact, make this mistake just recently:

Buybacks, where companies spend money repurchasing their own stock and making it scarcer, are emblematic. They are a more tax-efficient way of returning money than dividends, which incur capital gains.

T’other way around, buybacks pay CGT, dividends income tax….. of course, here it’s infelicitous phrasing, The G actually got it wrong, but still.

This is difficult if not illegal

Son of Barclay twins agrees deal to sell Ritz despite family warfare

OK, yes, headlines, compressed and all that.

But to be the son of both twins would be difficult – the twins are male – and, in most jurisdictions, the effort required for opposite sex twins to have a child would be illegal.

A son of one of the twins, yes, but not perhaps as written…..

Where do these ghastly little fascists come from?

This national lockdown has met with the approval of the vast majority of the voting public, at least for now: when it comes down to it, we are a nation that believes in a strong state, especially in a moment of national adversity. The comparison to the United States, from which our economic liberals draw their ideas, and often funding, is instructive.

Compared to us, and other European countries, the global superpower is barely a functioning state, far less a nation as we understand the term. In this respect, we are fortunate to have deep cultural reserves to draw on: a certain national mythos of dogged making-do and carrying-on in the face of adversity has since the Second World War defined much of the nation’s self-image, and now is the time to utilise it for the greater good.

To this end, the government has proposed a mass mobilisation of 250,000 volunteers for the NHS, to deliver food and medicine to those self-isolating at official request.

It is a good idea, and the speed and scale of the public’s response, with more than 400,000 volunteers already, is heartening but it perhaps does not go far enough. Continuing the wartime analogy, an impromptu volunteer effort is, like the Little Ships at Dunkirk, suited to a sudden crisis of short duration, but a sustained battle over the course of months or years requires a different degree of determination entirely.

If this is genuinely a national crisis on the scale of the Second World War, as the government’s extraordinary economic and political measures suggest, then we should mobilise the full resources of the state to face it. To do this, why not institute a form of conscription suited to a peacetime crisis: an NHS national service?

Because conscription is a form of slavery you dunderhead. It turns people – literally – into helots, slaves of the state.

Fuck off.

Releasing our youth from effective house arrest and allowing them to commit their health, vitality and purpose to the nation’s greater good is not just a quick fix to a sudden manpower shortage but a statement of who we are as a nation. It is an opportunity for the British government and people to affirm that we value younger people, and that we need them to play their part.

In boosting the NHS with a transfusion of new blood where it is needed most, freeing up both trained medical staff and the armed forces for the period of greatest danger now approaching, it would be a move of some practical utility which bears within it the seeds of a far greater social good.

It’s not even disguising the drooling over Blood and Will.

No, not really

Company reporting ban triggers fears of stock market closure
Listed companies ordered to stop publishing annual results


Britain’s top listed companies have been banned from publishing their annual results for at least the next fortnight in an unprecedented move by the City regulator to deal with the chaos caused by the coronavirus.

The instruction, contained in a letter sent by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to regulated companies over the weekend, immediately prompted speculation that it was the prelude to a full markets shutdown.

They’ve been told not to release preliminary results. But the full, audited results should still be released on schedule.

The Times has misunderstood what has been said.

Numbers I simply don’t believe

Life expectancy rose sharply in the US through the 20th century but over the past two decades fell by 25% for white Americans without a university degree even as it continued to rise for the better educated and for other races.

Apparently from Deaton and Case’s new book. And that’s not a number I believe in the slightest. There’s something screwy about it.

Of course, it could just be The Guardian’s reviewer, anyone actually know?