THIS WEEK IN

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The Unspoken Victims of COVID-19

So, one set of studies suggested that Omicron is a less severe disease than Delta, but because the research was only conducted on animals, it’s preliminary and unreliable. Another study, published the same day, involving more than a million patients, proves that Omicron, though more transmissible than Delta, is less dangerous to a vaccinated population. The conclusion is that the animal studies into Omicron transmission and morbidity were completely unnecessary. That raises the natural question: What have been the benefits (to humans) and the costs (to animals) of the thousands of previous animal-based Covid research projects? More

At the Bottom of the Empire: Homelessness, Housing Injustice, and Jesse Jackson’s Call to “Eradicate Poverty”

In late 1965, Martin Luther King, acting on the advice of Jesse Jackson and the Chicago Freedom Movement, a coalition of organizations fighting for fair housing, decided to spotlight the Union variety of white supremacy by temporarily staying in a slum tenement in one of Chicago’s most neglected and exploited neighborhoods. King and his family found, and introduced a formerly disinterested media, to housing units with asbestos, no running water, appliances that did not work, stairs that collapse, rats running through the hallways and sneaking into the furniture, and a rancid and infectious colony of insects.  More

An Abyss of Human Wickedness, You Can’t Get Much Worse Than Threatening Nuclear War

As the West worked itself into a lather in the last month over Russia moving its troops within its own borders, one GOP senator, Roger Wicker of Mississippi bellowed on December 8 that the U.S. should attack Russia with nuclear weapons. This horrifying threat to end human life on the planet comes from someone of no little puissance, as others quickly noted. Wicker sits on the armed services committee. So he communes regularly with Pentagon bigwigs, many of whom are said to have little regard for presidential professions of concern for posterity and promises never to explode the nuclear devices that would eliminate that posterity once and for all. One must assume when someone of Wicker’s exalted position speaks, he speaks not only for himself. More

Roaming Charges: Is This Tomorrow or Just the End of Time?

Given the speed at which the most cherished landmarks of American liberalism–reproductive rights, workplace safety, voting rights and the regulatory power of the state–are being shredded, a recently-arrived foreign exchange student (assuming there are any left who want to come here, except to sample the potent quality of our fentanyl) might be forgiven for assuming that rightwing vandals seized the capitol 15 years ago and began ransacking the government. More