December 2020

Virus update: December 5, 2020 -- Pandemic overwhelming medical system

MERCED (BLJ) -- As predicted, the virus is getting out of control here in Merced, there in California, and everywhere in the nation.

Locally, Merced County Public Health Department reports 11.2  positivity rate in the seven-day average, and 191 deaths (increase of five in a day). Merced County population is 275,000 and population density is 143 people per square mile.

By contrast, the City and County of San Francisco has 164 deaths, It's population is 881,500 and its population density is 17,160 people per square mile.


Adios, Public Trust relationship with California water

Just what the San Joaquin Valley needed: a derivative market in water.

Now, magic thinking has completely taken over, but it remains to be seen how much water can be created out of dust by the Invisible Middle Finger of the Free Market.

Can derivatives on farm labor be far behind?--wmh


California Water Futures Begin Trading Amid Fear of Scarcity

Futures on California water index launched by CME Group

Virus update: December 18, 2020

The Merced County Public Health Department announced on Friday that the current positive rate of infection in the last seven days among those tested is 13.9 percent and the total number of people who have died in the county from the virus are 216.

In California, 22,509 have died since the beginning of the pandemic, 228 died on Friday.

In the United States, 316,339 have died since the pandemic began, 2,542 died on Friday.

The total dead for the globe is estimated to be 1,672,772, with 4,648 dying on Friday.

Patrick Cockburn's obituary of Robert Fisk; the Angry Arab has another view

A close colleague at the Independent in war correspondence from Northern Ireland to the Middle East, Patrick Cockburn, reflects on the character and work of Robert Fisk. Lebanese scholar As`ad AbuKhalil, a professor at CSU Stanislaus, has another view. All we know about it is that Fisk reported from the front of the battle while AbuKhalil opined from Turlock. -- wmh


November 17, 2020

252 dead

On December 30, 2020, the total number of dead in Merced County from Covid-19 reached 252 and the nation's top epidemiologists predict a sharp increase in infections in a couple of weeks, due to holiday travel and large gatherings. But, not to worry, the vaccine is being distributed by capable military personnel. Today, four-star Army General Gustave F.