2:00PM Water Cooler 7/19/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this is a skeletal, standing elements-only Water Cooler because I have another post to finish. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

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Here’s a conversation starter in honor of “Freedom Day” in the UK:

He gets to 100. Here it is:

Hmm. That one seems familiar. How do people think Delta was allowed to come here? On the wings of little fairies? Or air travel? The thread is worth reading in full, because the horrid details tend to blur.

Talk amongst yourselves!

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Branden):

Branden writes: “I’m a long time reader and occasional commenter at NC. The post on Aspen colonies [here] was a delightful read. I took a trip to Utah sometime ago, and went on a detour just to see Pando in the autumn, and it was magnificent. Attached are a couple photos. Keep Up the Great Writing.” [Lambert blushes modestly.]

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

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If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Anon

    Since this is an open thread, one thing that I haven’t seen talked about much is what happens when the narrative comes out about our new vaccine efficacy, considering that there’s been a number of people who were fully vaccinated who got COVID-19 in spite of it.

    1. LawnDart

      “In the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.”
      –Anthony Fauci

      Why he’s still alive, let alone still in a position of authority, is amazing.

      Fauci is a murderer. He’s the camp guard who tells people to put their stuff neatly in a bin so that they can collect it after the delousing shower. We’re those people he lied to.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Fauci said this in 2020. Here’s the quote. Note that expressing disagreement with Fauci on this point, circa February 17, 2020, would today be considered “problematic” “disinformation,” and there would be consequences.

          It is, nevertheless, amazing that Fauci still has a job.

    2. neo-realist

      The vaccines were very effective against the original variant and the UK one, but less effective against delta. You’d have a lot more very ill and dead people from covid-19 w/o the vaccines. The vaccines targeting the spike protein are a decent short term measure until an effective approach that neutralizes the virus can be discovered.

      1. IM Doc

        The problem is that if you are indeed allowing a vaccinated person to have minimal symptoms at the same time the virus is not sterilized, you have effectively turned that person into an incubator for more mutant expression.

        And then multiply that person by millions. You have to think in large numbers here. Allowing this much genetic mutation capability is a real issue for future variants that could be a lot more toxic.

        If the vaccines were sterilizing, the person would have no symptoms AND the virus would be inactivated and unable to change.

        That is the concern with non-sterilizing vaccines. It is basically what could happen in the future.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > That is the concern with non-sterilizing vaccines. It is basically what could happen in the future.

          It hasn’t happened yet, but the UK is certainly giving it the old college try.

          Adding, you have to think in large numbers, and exponential growth. The UK already gave us Delta, starting with the lumpenproletariat in globalization-blasted Kent, and Delta went round the world and dominated very, very quickly.

          1. Fern

            I thought that Delta was first identified in India. Do you have any information that it arose in Kent? How did the UK give it to us? Do I need to update on this factoid?

            1. R

              We gave you Alpha. Maybe – Kent is practically France….

              India gave you Delta but we made it popular. Blame the Raj.

              So… who will give us Omega?

    3. kazy

      Getting the vaccine doesn’t make you immune to getting COVID-19. No doctor, no health official said that you can’t get the virus because you’re vaccinated. They said that if you get it, it will prevent you from being hospitalized and dying, that you can be a-symptomatic, you can have flu-like symptoms, you can become very very sick and in rare cases, if you’re a breakthrough case, might need to be hospitalized and can die. It was announced from the git-go, that it only had 66.6% to 95% efficacy, not 100%!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > No doctor, no health official said that you can’t get the virus because you’re vaccinated.

        Wrong. CDC Director Rachel Walenksy, May 13 White House briefing:

        the science demonstrates that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected.

        No qualifications at all. We quoted chapter and verse on this in Links, July 17. You should read Naked Capitalism, it will help you with this stuff.

        1. Fern

          I think Krazy meant that no reputable doctor or health official has claimed that you can’t get the virus if you’re vaccinated.

        2. Jack Parsons

          “Protect” is a weasel-word here. The death rate drops to near-zero among the vaccinated. I do not know if these numbers had come in by May 13.

    4. Count Zero

      Vaccine efficacy. Nothing has been talked about more than this!

      How many times does it have to be repeated. The vaccine generally gives you a stronger immune response to infection by the virus. That’s it. That’s all.

      That’s how vaccines work — and have always worked. No vaccine for anything can magically remove the virus from the air you breathe if you are in a confined space with a person infected with the virus.

      But if you are vaccinated your body will fight off the infection more effectively than if you haven’t. You might have no symptoms. Or you might have what seems like a rotten cold or a nasty dose of flu. You might even need to be hospitalised if you are over 60 and/or have pre-existing health conditions. But in every case your response is likely to be stronger if you have been vaccinated.

      Is it really that complicated? Ok, next shocking topic of discussion. Carrying an umbrella doesn’t stop it raining! But it might keep you dry — or at least reduce how wet you get.

  2. Cuibono

    Korean Navy Vessel (fully Unvaccinated due to being at sea) 80% infection rate.
    Delta seems mighty transmissible

    1. IM Doc

      I believe that has been well-established already about the delta variant.

      I think we can assume the vaccine will have a much less effect on the transmission of the virus than hoped. I am seeing that all around me now.

      The question is will the vaccine make people less likely to get very sick. So far we are doing a bit better than I expected. Patients are getting sick, but for the most part not in the hospital. Will it stay that way? Unknown.

      And what this transmission issue with the vaccine means for future variants is also still an open question.

      Those are the issues right now with the delta variant.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Even if Delta makes people less acutely sick in the immediate now, will it leave people with just as much stealthy silent cell damage in various tissues and organs as the pre-Delta covids? If it will, then starting in 30-40 years, we will see all kinds of “premature” kidney failure, heart failure. brain-mind failure, etc.

        If death rates rise, that would be one more success for the Secret Overclass Agenda of killing 7 or so billion people over the coming century and making it look like an accident.

        1. albrt

          Brain-mind failure already happened. We’ve only got Yves, Lambert, and a handful of other sentient beings left in the Anglosphere, and they don’t seem to have much influence.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I was speaking about organic brain-mind failure at the cerebro-neuron and cerebro-glial cell level, not higher order layers of thought-failure or intelligence failure.

      2. Raymond Sim

        Except for my wife the eight people I’ve been personally most worried for here in Davis have all developed symptoms consistent with Delta.

        That’s two vaccinated women over 70 years of age, two vaccinated 60-ish adults (my wife and myself), two unvaccinated adults in their 30’s, and two unvaccinated children under 10.

        The four vaccinated were all observing precautions, to the extent that trips to the doctor and/or dentist permitted. The unvaccinated were not, in my opinion, observing adequate precautions.

        The two unvaccinated 30-somethings have suffered the worst symptoms thus far.

  3. kareninca

    A 24 year old whom I know through zoom church meetings has caught covid. He does not seem to be having a terrible time; he is mainly coughing a lot, but of course who knows if there will be long term effects. He’s in England; he was not vaccinated due to the shot not yet being available to him. He was working as a substitute mailman so he was out and about, but I’m sure he wasn’t partying in big groups. But here’s the thing – he has infected both his father and his boss. They were both fully vaccinated (I don’t know which vaccine), but they caught it from him anyway. I don’t yet know how sick they are. I presume this is the Delta variant.

    This anecdote has sunk into the consciousness of an older church member I know here in Silicon Valley. He really felt as if being fully vaccinated made him safe; last week he went to a graduation party. It was outdoors, but it’s been clear for a while that being outdoors doesn’t help as much with Delta. I’ve told him countless times that he can still catch and transmit, and he’s well educated and otherwise rational but he just didn’t “get” it. He also read about the Texas Democrats on the plane and that helped open his eyes as well. Now he does “get” it.

    Now people like him are bargaining with fate – “but it won’t be a serious case!” I hope they’re right but looking at who is hospitalized in Israel I don’t think they will be.

    1. Mikel

      Outdoor events…no one mentions that they all had to go to the bathroom.

      Not event talked about much in return to office conversations.

      What kind of air filters and other ventilation is being talked about for restrooms? What about lids for toilets foe when they are flushed?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Fomites are a logical concern, but there is no epidemiological study I know of that shows actual transmission, even if not the main means of transmission.

        I would have expected a study to have shown up from India at this point, given that they have big problems with sanitation.

        I think it’s good to be careful in general, but the days where we were obsessively cleaning our doorknobs and washing vegetables are gone.

        NOTE Fomites were, of course, what the dinosaurs experts at WHO and CDC blamed for tranmission at the famous Skagit Choir cases, but further study ruled them out:

        At the time of the chorale rehearsal on 10 March 2020, because of emerging concern about SARS-CoV-2, person-to-person contact and touching of surfaces was consciously limited, and hand sanitizer was used. No one reported direct physical contact between attendees to the County Public Health investigators.22 Although some choir members helped arrange the chairs and ate snacks during the intermission, the index case did not participate in these activities, and many other members reported not eating the snacks.22 Thus fomite transmission from the index case via chairs or snacks can be excluded. The index case used one of the bathrooms during the event and thus touched the door handle and other surfaces there, but only about six other choir members used that restroom (see Supplemental Information), and many choir members who did not use any of the restrooms were also infected. Indeed, the clustering of infected cases on the seating chart does not support transmission from a point surface contact(s) unless the people who sat together all touched the same contaminated surface. Thus, it appears highly improbable that the direct and indirect contact routes could account for a significant fraction of the transmission during this event.

        1. drsteve0

          I suspect what Mikel meant is that when a toilet is flushed a lot of aerosolization can occur.

        2. square coats

          I had been wondering about public bathrooms too with regard to aerosols, since it turns out that when you flush a toilet it has an “aerosol effect”.

          From webmd: “According to the research team, flushing can generate large amounts of airborne germs, depending on flushing power, toilet design and water pressure.”

          Aerosol generation in public restrooms (Phys Fluids, 2021): “Covering the toilet reduced aerosol levels but did not eliminate them completely, suggesting that aerosolized droplets escaped through small gaps between the cover and the seat. In addition to consistent increases in aerosol levels immediately after flushing, there was a notable rise in ambient aerosol levels due to the accumulation of droplets from multiple flushes conducted during the tests.”

          (not sure if maybe Mikel was alluding to the aerosol effect as well)

          Apparently also known as a “toilet plume”, MIT offers a possible answer: “we have to acknowledge that live virus may sometimes be present in feces, though it’s possible this occurs only rarely or only in the case of very severe illness. This makes it theoretically possible that live virus could be present in a toilet plume, resulting in aerosolized droplets and contaminated surfaces. […] Individuals would also have to inhale a sufficient amount of the virus to become infected, he points out. “Even in the unlikely case that a toilet plume aerosolizes some viral particles, you probably wouldn’t be in the vicinity long enough to come into contact with enough virus to make you sick,” he notes.”

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Yes, I know about fecal plumes and I understand the logic. (IIRC, there was a SARS fecal plume that went up a chase in a Hong Kong apartment building and infected several platforms.)

            Put the lid down when you flush!

            That said, although again it makes sense to be careful, there are no epidemiological studies that show fecal transmission for Covid.

    2. Keith

      That’s the thing I have been wondering about. Is the jab really about not getting COVID or just not getting hospitalized from it? I tried looking into it before I got it, but couldn’t really find much, aside from authorities saying to just get it.

      I think it is an important issue, if true. I supposed the other issue is the seriousness of the delta variant. Is it as bad as the original, or like others have said, it is much more milder.

      1. Cuibono

        sadly that was NOT studied in the RCTs. lots of real world data that is subject o all sorts of problems

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        That was my understaning. The mRNA neo-vaccinoid was designed to keep you from getting less sick from the covid it was never even intended to actually keep you from getting, technically speaking.
        It was only meant to make you get less sick.

        At my age and with my co-morbidities, I decided it was worth the risk. So I got the moderna brand mRNA neo-vaccinoid.

          1. chris

            The vaccines we have were developed to prevent severe disease and death from COVID-19. It seems that they confer other benefits too, but, they do not provide sterilizing immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Its not a classical dead virus or attenuated virus vaccine. Its a new and different technology. So I tried to create for myself a new and different word to describe the newness and difference of this not-a-classical-vaccine.

            And “mRNA neo-vaccinoid” is the best I could come up with.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Is the jab really about not getting COVID or just not getting hospitalized from it?

        To me, the jab is about:

        1) Really good odds of not being hospitalized or being very sick

        2) Good odds of not getting sick

        3) Less good but still real odds of not transmitting.

        To me as a personal matter, #1 is sufficient.

        As a policy matter, #3 really, really worries me.

        Adding, I don’t know if the Delta variant is inherently milder, or (a) we have better treatment now, so people don’t get as sick, or (b) it’s hitting a younger and stronger population.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Could there also be a choice 4) . . . . that widespreading Delta cases will seemfeel mild in the acute now, but will leave behind body cell microdamage which will show up as “premature onset” chronic diseases of old age or other chronic disease? Or also leave organ systems with zero margin of safety so that an otherwise survivable disease becomes non-survivable?

          Like if Delta covid silently attrits my kidney function down to 50% and then I get something else which removes the other 50%, I will be left with 0 % kidney function where otherwise I would still have had 50% kidney function left if not for getting Delta covid?

          Is that also a mass-demographic outcome we should expect and will see starting in 25-30 years?

    3. IM Doc

      I think you are very right.

      I studied the stages of grief from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross years ago when I was a medical student. It has served me well with individuals dying or undergoing some other tragedy.

      Now, unfortunately, I think we are going to be experiencing these stages as a society the next few weeks. The first stage is denial – I think our media and federal officials are still there – but the people for the most part are beginning to move on. The next stages are bargaining like you stated above and anger/rage. In my experience with individuals those two often happen at exactly the same time. I do think this next few months has the potential to be a very fraught time. Please take care everyone.

    4. Raymond Sim

      If six feet of distancing is what you need to get adequate dilution with Covid-classic (let’s just suppose) then a thousandfold increase of viral release from Delta would require more like sixty. Which is to say, if people with Delta are releasing virus at anything like the rate it seems they produce it, then being outdoors is unlikely to allow us to acheive safety through distance anymore.

      1. Skip Intro

        The 6ft/2m thing was about droplets, so that does not particularly change, for outdoors. For indoors, it was always ineffective against aerosols, and will be even more so.

  4. Isotope_C14

    I’ve been homeless in the US before. Only the fact that I had family wealthy enough to have housing for me to couch surf with them was I able to stay off the streets. I was lucky, even then it is soul-crushing.

    We’ve had links before from Ghion Journal – it’s a long read and scroll all the way to the bold at the bottom if you don’t have time for a long read. Really powerful:


    Mobile – a short film about living in your car:


    With the coming storm of likely evictions, please remember the people on the street or in the car are just victims of capitalism. Anyone you can help, please, please, do.

    If anyone here reading needs help, speak up!!!

    1. Nce

      I shouldn’t respond to this because I will be unnecessarily harsh, but if you are young, healthy, attractive, well educated, and driving a nice car like the woman in the short video, and are now are experiencing the butt side of capitalism, well don’t expect the old hands not to indulge in a little schadenfreude. So, how does it feel?

      1. Brian Beijer

        Wow. Thanks for your honesty. I always find it interesting to learn a person’s true thoughts/ feelings underneath the veil of socialization. I find that my inner reaction in those moments is to pray even harder for the jackpot, when every one of us gets to experience “the butt side of capitalism”. Now that’s some schadenfreude for ya.

        1. kareninca

          Well, you don’t know that that was honesty. Maybe that was Nce saying something kinder than s/he was thinking.

      2. JohnA

        I only saw the opening sequence, but her white jacket looked very clean and new. Why dont people in America want to flip burgers for 2 cents an hour or learn to code and then teach some Indian remote workers how to do your job for 2 cents an hour?

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I hope you get to experience every single thing which you hope other people get to experience. And that’s no sarc.

    2. chris

      So, Krystal and Sagar recently had Mr. Jordan Chariton on their Breaking Points podcast. Chariton is apparently a rare breed of journo who is actually interested in pursuing real journalism. He’s been going to places like Ohio and Kentucky looking to interview people about the economic hardships they’re encountering due to the pandemic.

      And what he reported from his travels is that the eviction wave has already passed us by. Here’s one article describing how various municipalities are helping landlords with various loopholes so that the evictions can take place. In a lot of cases people have already been evicted.

      However, I’m not sure the numbers are at all being recorded because if what Mr. Chariton said is correct, there are multiple instances of people leaving because they were not allowed to renew a lease, or they were forced out for tax reasons. He even said that there were instances of Section 8 programs not responding in time to keep people housed. Given all that, it is probably already much worse in this country than we know. We haven’t seen it yet because the people who would report that would have to go to these places to see it for themselves. And why would they do that unless they’re crazy people who are bootstrapping themselves into a kind of reporting career using Patreon of all things :(

    3. jr

      One thing I learned from a homeless woman who took care of me the night I was homeless was that if someone asks you for some cash on a really cold day, give them at least five dollars. It’s enough to buy some food and drink at McDonald’s plus refills. Then you can sit out the night there.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > give them at least five dollars

        Back in the day, there was a famous panhandler who traveled on Boston’s MBTA. His pitch was “Spare five dollars for a poor Yankee!” Of course, back then, five dollars was real money.

        Thanks for the tip. I don’t know what will happen if McDonald’s starts kicking visibly poor people out (see Chris Arnade’s wonderful book). It’s odd that McDonald’s should be providing an absolutely essential service in a relatively humane fashion, but that’s where we are. Perhaps the franchise system enables this?

  5. IM Doc

    I have been providing updates on the situation from my little slice of small town America for the past several months. Since we now seem to be entering an impending wave or at least “something” I am going to write this out in the comments weekly. I do think it is important to know how this virus is being lived out in the real world of flyover country and away from the large metropolitan areas. And the bumbling on the TV is about as alien to what is happening on the ground here as if it were being broadcast from Alpha Centauri.

    I live in a county where the vaccination rate among those over 70 is right at 90% and those from 18-70 is right at 50%. That seems to be way better than most of America.

    In my own personal practice from the last week – JUL 12th through JUL 18th there were exactly 27 positive COVID patients – 70% vaccinated, 30% unvaccinated. As has become apparent for the past few weeks – the vaccinated patients are more likely to be a bit more ill. They have much deeper coughs, X-ray changes and fever more commonly than the unvaccinated. One thing that has also become clear for the past few weeks is how often the vaccinated come from clusters of groups that have multiple members fall ill – ie social events, civic events, church activities, etc. The unvaccinated are mostly lone events.

    Please note – the reason there may be more vaccinated – is the unvaccinated are trending toward younger people – and they may not come to the doctor. But the facts are that there are plenty of vaccinated patients becoming positive as well – and going all over the community sans masks and spreading the wealth.

    Not one of my patients has become remotely ill enough to be in the hospital. We had a close call a week ago – but that individual has had a full recovery. In the community, however, we have had 3 vaccinated patients become very ill and need to be transferred to a higher level of care. No one unvaccinated has been in the hospital. All 3 were very high risk, older, obese, diabetic, etc. At the time of this writing, all 3 are doing very well.

    The tempo seems to be picking up dramatically, however. So far we have had 11 patients just this AM calling in with colds and coughs and fever. All are being tested – no idea what the results are yet.

    As of now, it seems there is a high percentage of vaccinated who are becoming ill and positive – much higher than advertised. At the same time, the level of illness has remained relatively low – so at least we have that good thing.

    But there is a bigger problem brewing.

    Life in small town America – can be quite clarifying – as in crystal clear.

    I have been a denizen of big mega-cities all my life – so this is all new to me. But I am able to see aspects now of why rural America may have a bit more skepticism toward the authorities.

    You see, it has been being reported in the local news that we have very minimal cases and all the positive patients are mostly unvaccinated – go and get the vaccine and save your town, etc. All of these positive vaccinated people are just not being counted – but that does not stop them from these misleading statistics being broadcast.

    And I know Kamala Harris laments the fact that we in rural America do not have the ability to do photocopies – but trust me – these are among the brightest people I know – they can do math.

    So, the Mrs and I were in our Sunday School Class of 150 yesterday. The preacher got done with the lesson early – and looked at the crowd and basically announced that we are going back on the war footing in the church effective today. Absolutely none of his widows, widowers, anyone over 70 or anyone with severe medical problems will be going out for groceries or mail or drugs or anything – we are starting the church plan again where the young people will get their stuff and deliver it. And by the way – those helped will include anyone in the town at high risk. (They did this for 9 months last year – I could not be more proud of these people – there is a reason my county is in the top 5% of mortality statistics).

    And then he looked right at me – Doc – do you know why I know of personally more than 20 vaccinated positive patients and our papers are not talking about that? Should we be careful with these people too? —- Jaw dropped to the floor – but for sure – I am not going to get involved in this misrepresentation – I have been pissed for months about the whole situation….. NO SIR – I have no idea why that is happening – but I applaud your efforts. Everyone needs to be told to get out in the sun, VIT D 2000 units daily, exercise, lose weight, get your blood glucose down. The most important thing – LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER. I want this whole mishmash about vaccinated vs unvaccinated to just pass us by – We need to rely on each other now more than ever. AMENS from every corner.

    The issue – the powers that be are just not going to be able to hide anything from people forever – public health is all about brutal honesty – and the blowback will be severe once the deception is obvious and once the storms have passed. Things like this become much more obvious in small towns – way before they do in the big cities where the media denizens are located.

    Did I ever think I would live to see an old clergy member making more sense than our federal public health?

    Commenters, I do not know what we are going to be facing in the next few weeks. It may be bad. It may be a nothingburger. But please – take care of yourselves. Take care of your families and friends. Look after one another. We are all actually in this together.


        1. Richard Needleman

          I am sure that this is old news for many at this site, but in Israel vaccinated and unvaccinated people have acquired Covid at the same rate (https://trialsitenews.com/covid-19-case-data-in-israel-a-troubling-trend/) . I am having trouble embedding the data here, but the site is well worth a look.

          Speaking of deception: Fauci was just interviewed and said that he still believed that the lab leak hypothesis is false. His evidence? Twenty or so international virologists of high repute have published a letter supporting his position. He neglected to mention that he had contacted all of them and collaborated on this letter. Not surprisingly, all are highly funded investigators and are reliant on Fauci’s Institute for money. The origin of the letter was hours after Fauci was told that the structure of the virus was inconsistent with evolution. Exactly what was said in his emails with them and in a long conference call cannot be established exactly since the information was blacked out in the FOIA request. But it could not be clearer.

          Here in Ann Arbor, the major hospital has sent a letter to all physicians saying to expect essentially everyone to contract the Delta variant. This is rather surprising since, if the letter was written by the hospital MBAs, I would expect them to follow the CDC propaganda; we have high vaccination rates. They are probably finally relying on their own experience. The MSM and even the alternative media are still fooled by the constant refrain that the vaccines are fully protective.

          An important remaining issue is the lethality of Delta. The CDC, NIH, etc. are either not collecting the appropriate data and/or actively hiding it. The UK and Israel have much more useful data. While Delta virus titers are extraordinarily elevated over the wild type virus (alpha), the case fatality rate seems small (0.7%) compared to the wild type rate of around 1.5-2%. Some have attributed this to a younger population being infected, but I have seen crude age stratified data that contradicts this. Is the emphasis on Delta simply a scare campaign? For obvious reasons, increased cases are nothing to be sanguine about even if the case fatality rate is lower, but the emphasis on Delta may be part of a campaign to get everyone vaccinated. Israel has not seen a significant increase in deaths due to Delta, though total hospitalizations remain low.

          1. Dean

            Curious who told Fauci that COVID was inconsistent with evolution and what is the evidence for that statement. Do you have a reference?

              1. Dean

                Kristian Anderson, the author of the original January 2020 email, published this article in Nature in March 2020: Nature Medicine 26 450-452, 2020. From the article:

                “ It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus. As noted above, the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted7,11. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used19. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone20. “

                In addition the Turin cleavage site has been identified I other coronavirus:

                futon cleavage sites naturally occur in coronaviruses
                stem cell research 50, 2021

                1. Brian Beijer

                  Lol. Nice sneak attack. You were just waiting for Richard to name K. Andersen as the source weren’t you? How much of this anti- lab leak data do you have on hand?

              2. Lambert Strether Post author

                > The guy is K. Andersen.

                The YouTube is not K. Anderson; the YouTube is a thing called “Peak Prosperity.” Since you don’t provide an exact quote from Fauci, I have nothing to verify against. Did you or the Peak Prosperity dude provide or check the actual quotation?

                NOTE Yet another example of why videos suck so bad. Am I going to spend [checks] 39:22 to verify the quote and do work that others should have done? No, I am not.

          2. Phillip Cross

            Isn’t this because the oldest and weakest, and most likely to be hospitalized, are all in the group that is fully vaccinated?

            They’re are millions of them, so even though though % going to hospital is low, the absolute numbers are relatively high because the vaccine is not preventing serious illness in a few % of people.

            The unvaccinated are mostly the young and healthy, who were not usually ending up in hospital anyway.

            The fact that so many unvaccinated are ending up in hospital at all, suggests to me that delta is more likely to cause severe illness in younger/healthier groups.

          3. Yves Smith

            Your CFR claim has been debunked due to being on markedly different populations:

            The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become prevalent in the U.K. since May 2021. At the same time, most of the people who are vaccinated in the U.K. are the elderly, who were among the priority groups in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, as they are at a higher risk of severe illness. So far, the data shows that most COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant in the U.K. occur in people under 50 years old, an age group that is less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those older than 50. As most of the risk groups in the U.K. are now protected by vaccination, fewer people are expected to die from a Delta variant infection. Therefore, while the fatality rate of the Delta variant appears lower, this is a result of vaccination and the characteristics of the unvaccinated population, and not necessarily because the Delta variant is less lethal than the wild-type virus.


            Another issue not mentioned is in the initial waves of Covid, some hospitals were overwhelmed (particularly in Italy; they simply refused to admit Covid cases in the over 70) and the early treatments were hit and miss (like heavy use of ventilators when hospitals have since learned they damage the lungs; now oxygen is the first line of defense for bad cases). So better access to hospitals and better treatments have also lowered the CFR rate.

            And there are also mucormycosis deaths resulting from Covid treatments, which are not being attributed to Covid and arguably should be.


    1. Isotope_C14

      Thanks Doc, love to read your long detailed posts on this topic.

      We’re seeing more talk of ADE on the twitter, Malone hints at it more regularly now. Is that the “bad vs. nothingburger”?

      Don’t know if you saw in links Anonymous posted some good links to the Iowa nasal vax. Looks good, was sterilizing in ferrets.

    2. Carolinian

      Thanks as always…..will pass along to my brother who has considerably let down his guard after his two shots.

    3. Geo

      Thank you for this report from your community.

      “Did I ever think I would live to see an old clergy member making more sense than our federal public health?”

      The way I have heard people talking about how the unvaxxed are gonna get what they deserve sounds much like the pious elitism of end-timers looking forward to the Rapture so they can watch the sinners pay for their ungodliness.

    4. Keith

      Thanks for all the info you share. Not sure if this is a proper question, but do you notice break through cases happening more with one vaccine than another? Is it even something the medical authorities are looking at?

      1. IM Doc

        I would guess (and it is a guess) that we are about 50/50 Pfizer/Moderna – there is a very small contingent of J&J. And, no, I am seeing no difference between the vaccines at all.

    5. Watt4Bob

      It seems to me that in retrospect, our public health systems have long been infiltrated by political operatives.

      So, with the advent of the pandemic, the opportunities to make political hay were immediately pounced upon.

      It’s all been reactionary since then with every decision first run through the calculation of “How will this profit the party?”

      The political give and take has reached a fever pitch, without any real concern for the public’s well-being.

      People dying, hospitals over-run, economic impact, trust in media, … “who cares!”

      “How will this profit the party?”

      It’s a savage, hysterical, fight-to-the-death power struggle, and the people are just collateral damage.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe more than just infiltrated. Maybe stuffed with them like a sausage casing.

      2. HotFlash

        It seems to me that in retrospect, our public health systems have long been infiltrated by political operatives.

        It seems to me that most likely the whole political shootin’ match is infiltrated; ie, boughten, by corporate operatives. I was an accountant in a former life, I understand ‘follow the money’ and ‘qui bono’ at a working level.

    6. Code Name D

      While there is no evidence to support it, it’s a little too obvious that the reason the vaccinated are going in is because they have been aloud to abandon all other safety protocols. The unvexed are still using masks, still taking precautions in high-risk areas, and are still avoiding super-spreader events. While the vaccinated have abandoned all safety protocols and are even encouraged to do so.

      The whole mask/no mask debate misses the forest for the trees. Our society simply can not rap its head around the concept of a COMMUNAL disease and that a communal response is the only way to get it under control. There should be NO distinction between vaccinated and un-vaccinated. If the virus is in the area – then EVERYONE must abide by the same safety protocols.

      But this declare-victory strategy in hopes of avoiding lock-downs is the surest way to insure their necessity in the near future.

      And this “the unvaccinated have made their choice” is typical neo-liberal thinking. Even if you have a Qanon anti-vaxer nut head, you keep trying to convince them. You keep trying until they take the vaccine – or until they drop dead. Because that is what heroes do – they fight to the end.

      1. Utah

        Went to a family gathering at the in laws. Maybe 20-25 people including children under twelve. I was the only one masked. I’ve had one dose, not sure if I want a second. So I’m semi protected. None of those kids were masked. At least one adult was unvaccinated, there could have been more. This family includes medical professionals and medically fragile people. Somehow I am the only one that thought a mask was appropriate when we’re at around 500-550 cases per day on average. I spent most of my time outside or inside next to an open door. The kicker was that they spent like 15 minutes gathered around a piano singing together (I hid in the basement). My partner will wear a mask everywhere else, but she doesn’t wear one around her family. And I just don’t get it. Hopefully this gathering wasn’t a super spreader event. But it’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure.

        1. Jack Parsons

          “My partner will wear a mask everywhere else, but she doesn’t wear one around her family. ”
          Masking up as a new variety of code-switching. Makes sense.

          I’m turning down a family dinner for Mom’s birthday (101 yrs!) partly due to this quandary.

    7. kazy

      “the vaccinated patients are more likely to be a bit more ill. They have much deeper coughs, X-ray changes and fever more commonly than the unvaccinated.”

      Why do you think that those who are vaccinated are more severely ill when they have the virus than those who are unvaccinated who contract COVID 19? Are you suggesting that something in the vaccination is making them sicker?

      1. IM Doc

        At this point – I am not suggesting anything –

        In my personal dealing with patients – I am observing – and reporting what I am seeing. I am sharing what is happening on the ground in my life. Answers to this would require virology labs and lab staff – completely unavailable to 99% of America. When/if I ever have any clue why this might be happening – I will let everyone know. Or it may change and I will let everyone know this as well.

        I am reporting only that which is seemingly happening too often to be random chance.

        I am hoping that everyone who is vaccinated (and unvaccinated for that matter) will pay attention and realize that if they are feeling ill in any way they really need to stay at home and call their doctor. And I mean that. Anyone at this point who is having a cough or congestion should be at home and not walking around the grocery store with or without a mask. I think we are all taking this a little too lightly.

        1. zagonostra

          Unfortunately the advice of “call your doctor” is the difference between making rent or being homeless for many in America, if your so lucky as to have a doctor.

          What makes me so pessimistic and suspicious about vaccines and public policy surrounding CV19 is that keeping profit at the forefront is what’s on our corporate politician’s mind. Making sure M4A or some alternative doesn’t cut into profits is what driving healthcare policy to a large extent not concern for the “undeserving” poor’s health and welfare.

      2. Skip Intro

        IM mentioned that the highly vulnerable were vaxxed at 90%, the avg., 50%. If the vulnerable are hospitalized more frequently, then you might expect more vaxxed patients hospitalized.

        Now the CDC has learned one thing from gun violence, and that is how to not collect information you don’t want to see. The CDC is recommending against testing for the vaxxed, while claiming only the unvaxxed are getting it..

    8. Tinky

      Thanks Doc. I join the chorus in praising your efforts.

      As the evidence mounts suggesting that there is actually quite good natural immunity derived from having been infected, are you getting any sense of its durability?

      Also, is there any way to test for previous, though relatively remote (i.e. many months or greater than one year) infections, without having to accept a syringe through the sternum?

      Thank you.

      1. IM Doc

        Again, I do not have a virology or immunology lab handy in my office so those answers are simply not knowable. I am certain, however, this work is being done all over the country in these types of facilities.

        However, one can assume things in roundabout ways from other evidence. I have been very careful to note if any of the positive patients (both vaccinated or unvaccinated) have been previously diagnosed with actual COVID. In my panel of patients, that number is right at 18% – counting all cases since JUNE 1. So there does seem to be a fairly significant number of breakthrough from previous COVID infections as well. I have not broken this down as far as timing. I have no data if these patients were infected 3 months ago or 18 months ago. But that does seem to be a fairly high amount regardless of the timing.

        As I have heard from the beginning from many many virologists, in this family of viruses, and other respiratory viruses as well, herd immunity is just not a realistic endpoint. There are other commenters that can speak to this issue from much better expertise than I.

        1. Richard Needleman

          If you don’t have good sterilizing immunity herd immunity is not reachable. If the Pfizer vaccine doesn’t prevent infection–and the data says it doesn’t–how can you reach herd immunity? The whole population remains susceptible.

        2. Acacia

          > herd immunity is just not a realistic endpoint

          Perhaps as a layman I’m inferring too much here, but doesn’t this (and other insights about the non-sterilizing nature of the current vaccines) imply that vaccine passports — e.g. showing proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant or board a plane —, are sort of pointless?

          1. Brian Beijer

            but doesn’t this (and other insights about the non-sterilizing nature of the current vaccines) imply that vaccine passports — e.g. showing proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant or board a plane —, are sort of pointless?

            I think this is an excellent question. It raises another question if the answer is yes, they will soon be irrelevant. These vaccin passports are being enacted simultaniously across most (if not all) countries. Why invest so much legal emphasis, money and resources in developing something that will quickly be pointless? …like pointless within months? I get the strong feeling that these “passports” are here to stay regardless of the outcome of the vaccines.

      2. Larry Y

        Source for “evidence” for “good natural immunity”? The example of Manaus in Brazil comes to mind as an counter example.

    9. Objective Ace

      >As of now, it seems there is a high percentage of vaccinated who are becoming ill and positive

      I cant help wondering if this is starting to be because everybody (or almost everybody) who is unvacinated has already had Covid.

      Intuitively, I dont see how your body fighting off the entire covid virus doesn’t better prep your body for future covid infections then merely fighting off a small portion of the virus–the spike protein–that the vaccines train your immune system to do. Its shocking the lack of studies, or even just curiostiy into this matter

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        IMDoc – good luck & thank you for your input – Sounds like you have a nice community thing going there, something that I remember in England that in relation to the Working class, was mainly built around the workplace & the associated public housing being now all but long gone precipitated by Thatcher’s razing of the mining communities.

        In relation to the 100 screw ups of the Boris Covid farce – not unlike a group of spoilt brats who are never called to account for their actions, it’s hardly surprising that they will keep pushing it, as they have & are with the Delta variant which may as well been chartered in from the sub-continent. I personally believe that it is at the very least a bit of a tell that out of those who are supposed to be protecting the population from Covid, the 3 most important being the PM & the 2 health ministers have all caught it. In Javed’s case it could just be a case of him trying to appear human.

      2. Yves Smith

        Not true. Don’t make shit up.

        Down in Alabama, we have unvaccinated aides that have not gotten Covid.

        And the immunity from getting an infection wears off in what is estimated to be 6-8 months. There have been second infections in less time than that, as well as a documented case of someone getting Alpha and Beta at the same time.

    10. Mike Allen

      Hi Doc, I have a question concerning acquiring symptoms after your second Moderna shot. Recieved the second shot on 06/27 and began to have flu like symptoms the next day. As of today, I’m experiencing severe fatigue and respiratory issues. I’ve read that Covid can reactivate the Epstein Barr virus, that I was diagnosed with in 1979. Is this in line with what you’ve been seeing? Thank you for your insightful posts.

    11. Cuibono

      ” the vaccinated patients are more likely to be a bit more ill.”
      This part seems to be counter to what we re hearing all day long. Is there any way to know if this is JUST particular to your practice?

      1. Romancing The Loan

        They might also not be going to the doctor until they get a bit more ill because they believe they’re vaccinated and so whatever they have can’t be COVID. There are a lot of confounding variables.

        1. Phillip Cross

          LoL. Forget RCTs and peer review. The gold standard is having the word Doc in your forum username. (Even when it seems you’re getting all your talking points from Natural News).

          It’s all fun and games until numerically challenged, elderly forum members, scared out of getting vaccinated by drivel they read, get covid and die.

        2. Brian Beijer

          If you’re refering to IM Doc; do you honestly think Yves would allow someone to present themselves as a doctor and give this level of detailed information without them being vetted? Are you new here?

    12. Raymond Sim

      My sincerest best wishes,

      I fear our troubles are going to compound and compound again before we have any hope of a path to safety, and we’re all of us going to be in ever greater need of people the likes of yourself.

    13. WhoaMolly

      Late 70s with co-morbidity here. Semi rural area.

      Sounds like I need my N95 mask when I’m out and about.

      I thought my Moderna vaccination meant less severe symptoms when it’s my turn in the barrel.

      At least boxes of N95s are available again. Got a box of 25 for US $95.

    14. Brian Beijer

      Your preacher could almost convince me to become religious. I don’t know what they’re putting in the water in your town, but whatever it is, I hope the people keep drinking it. I would strongly advise never to move. It sounds like you’ve found a real community.

  6. Hana M

    I just finished watching American Factory on Netflix. Well worth watching but intensely depressing. . Since this is an Obama film the whole issue of globalization got somehow re-framed as an East-meets-West culture clash, as if our Dear Leaders have had nothing to do with the disintegration of the American middle class and the destruction of American manufacturing. Check out this review from Workday Minnesota: https://workdayminnesota.org/analysis-and-review-of-netflixs-american-factory/

    1. fresno dan

      Hana M
      July 19, 2021 at 2:48 pm
      I often say I belong to Netflix, but it is more accurate to say I’m a member of DVD.com, some sort of subsidiary of Netflix. This means when I sign up for a movie, I am getting an actual physical DVD through the US mail, how Netflix ran its business for quite some time. I do not see any movie over the internet.
      Unfortunately, when I choose these movies, they are put in the queue called saved which means when a DVD will be sent is anybody’s guess (movies DVD actually had are put in the list called queue). I have saved movies that have been in this no man’s land for more than a decade.
      I’ve looked into upgrading to the internet Netflix, but in fact the selection is far, far, FAR worse than DVD.com. So I will look into Netflix again and see how many movies Netflix has available that are in my DVD queue that are saved and therefore unavailable. I really want to see American Factory

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I have similar problems with Netflix and its ‘saved’ queue. I wonder if some of the titles are only available as “Blu-Ray” discs. I will not upgrade and pay more(?) to Netflix. As the availability of discs, other than the latest blockbusters, grows worse I grow more and more inclined to discontinue Netflix.

      2. Carolinian

        I don’t get Netflix but as I understand it the Obama doc is on their streaming platform which by design doesn’t release things onto DVD until they think they’ve sucked all the streaming revenue out of it. In other words streaming titles like The Crown may not hit my library for months until the DVD release happens, and no DVD release then no physical DVD from Netflix either.

        When Netflix was only physical discs they had many disputes and difficulties with the movie studios and long ago Blockbuster seeing them as unfair competition. The result was they decided to become a studio themselves.

    2. PHLDenizen

      So, basically, Obama took the 1986 film Gung Ho and un-fictionalized it. Both claim the East-West divide is the major problem. IIRC, Gung Ho was just as guilty of class concern erasure as American Factory.

      Given two piles of bullish!t, I’ll take Michael Keaton handing me the spoon over Obama’s nauseatingly anodyne puffery.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        ‘Gung Ho’, as you say, a rather lame comedy about Japanese managers in the Rust Belt, is actually a Chinese term (mistranslated*). But whatever, I mean they all freekin’ look alike, yuk yuk. Thanks, pre-Woke Hollywood.

        * The slang term ‘Gung Ho’ itself has a colorful left wing history, rooted in the WW2 Marine Raider battalion of old “China Hand” Evans Carlson. Its literal meaning is ‘industrial cooperative’.

      2. Basil Pesto

        So, basically, Obama took the 1986 film Gung Ho and un-fictionalized it.

        Nope. Obama didn’t make the film. His production company would help with production finance and distribution (I don’t know if they were on board before or after the doc was actually shot).

        That doesn’t preclude it from being anodyne puffery (I haven’t seen it, though I tend to regard films with ‘American’ in the title with a cocked eyebrow; they usually have an inflated sense of their own importance).

    1. Objective Ace

      It has been theorized that this has already wiped out lost civilizations. Graham Hancock (who has done a number of joe rogan episodes) argues that the Sphinx and Gobleci Tepe are the creations of civilizations over 10,000 years ago that were much more advanced then their successors. Geomagnetic storms brought their civilizations crashing down and it took another 5-8,000 years to re-reach their level of achievements

  7. Geo

    “77. Allowing millions of people to be infected so new variants are more likely to EVOLVE and potentially SHARE harmful mutations.”

    *Puts on my tinfoil hat*

    “Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer have quietly touted plans to raise prices on coronavirus vaccines in the near future and to capitalize on the virus’s lasting presence.

    ‘As this shifts from pandemic to endemic, we think there’s an opportunity here for us,’ said Frank D’Amelio, the chief financial officer for Pfizer, at a conference.“

    *Tightens my tinfoil hat a little more*

    “In moments of crisis, people are willing to hand over a great deal of power to anyone who claims to have a magic cure”
    – Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

      1. Isotope_C14

        Great to hear petal.

        Keep fighting the good fight! Did your move go well, or is it still in process?

        Wishing the best for your and your clan, both 2 and 4 legged.

        1. petal

          Thank you! Moving on Thursday! Worried about how the dogs will take it. They are old and have lived at this same address their whole lives.

      2. Geo

        If corporations are people is this the insanity defense? “Your Honor, it wasn’t me that murdered those people, it was my other identity… and he killed himself. So, I’m totally innocent!”

        1. WhoaMolly

          If corporations are people I want to see those suckers who break the law go to San Quentin. Maybe fight fires for $1 an hour. And Become felons without rights afterwards.

      3. Objective Ace

        Why wouldnt any company steal a page out of the Seckler’s playbook now that they know they can get away with it? I expect much more of this in the future

        I’m not sure why Pfizer and JnJ even worried about limiting their liability with the vaccines. Just spin those arms off into a separate entity

          1. Objective Ace

            Sure.. but so is killing people in the first place. It used to be that legal ramifications/fines/etc combined with bad public relations was enough to dissuade companies from acting unethically. Now we only have bad pubic relations holding them back.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Killing people is only bad public relations if it becomes public knowledge, and lays in front of your door. Ask Big Tobacco, or ask the Military Industrial Complex, or Big Oil, or Big Ag … or ask Big Pharma. The vaccines are not their first rodeo.

      4. jhallc

        Not surprised to hear that. It’s a tried and true strategy. Monsanto did that when they spun off Solutia in 1997 and tied all their toxic superfund sites into it. Solutia filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

    1. JBird4049

      Yeah, a number of commenters (including myself to be honest) here have noticed that not slowing the number of infected quickly makes having new and more exciting variants evolve likely.

      I don’t think, or at least think it unlikely, that the various vaccine makers and their lobbyists and governmental servants deliberately planned for, and created the conditions that caused, a new endemic disease requiring a vaccination every year; incompetence is probably the real for most of the mess. However, now that this is happening, they do have an incentive not to be very proactive or effective in dealing with the epidemic or the economic hellscape because it might be very, very profitable for the wealthy and the connected.

      But as the original incompetence shows, they, or The Powers That Be, are unable to do anything but mess up and their efforts to profit from their original, unintended screw-ups will make things much worse than they will have anticipated. The longer the disease is not dealt with seriously and competently, the more likely it will become a plague of biblical or truly historical disaster. Think of the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, or even the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and these were either limited, or episodic epidemics and pandemics, and not endemic like smallpox was.

      To get an understanding of a worst case scenario, look at smallpox. Depending on the version of smallpox, viola minor was “only” 1% and viola major was 30% with the survivors often scarred and sometimes blinded. It would hit an area every ten or twenty once the number of uninfected, usually children, was high enough with IIRC, even the early versions of vaccination were dangerous (although compared to the disease, not so much) And it existed for at least three thousand years.

      At least with smallpox it is easy to get a vaccine that protects from all version of it. Just how variable is COVID and how difficult will it be to create vaccines that will protect against all, or at least enough, variants or will be like the common flu in which some flu seasons there are no effective vaccines because of its high variability and ability to slip by vaccines. I see the possibility that having COVID variants that are both lethal and can side step any current vaccines, maybe even any medications like Ivermectin, could arise. Even a persistent annual death rate of just 1% (or more from) infection would probably freak people out. There were reasons why families were so big even a century ago. They weren’t have them for fun. Death from disease was very common.

      It is realistic to think of the possibility that our medical and political establishment deliberately being ghouls by screwing the efforts to stop an epidemic for profit; thinking about the possibility of a permanent, or at least persistent, often lethal pandemic akin to smallpox or the plague because of greed is so, so very depressing.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I got the impression, do not recall from where, that the Corona spicules mutate more rapidly than the protein shell that encloses the Corona RNA. All the vaccines induce human cells to manufacture Corona spicules. If new variants of the Corona virus present mutated spicules, I would expect the immune response to a vaccine producing the old spicules as an antigen might not lead to an immune response effective against a Corona virus with new-and-improved spicules. The advantages of this as a money making opportunity seem obvious, though I would never accuse Big Pharma of such an odious motive.

        I suspect a killed virus or recovering from a Corona infection might similarly prime the immune system to deal with the old spicules. I recall reading, and again do not recall where, that the protein shell around the virus was more difficult to produce using the mRNA technique — problems related to the inside of the protein shell providing a stronger antigenic response than the outside and difficulty producing a closed viral shell — something like that.

        This is all way outside my lane. Does any of this make sense?

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Why not tighten the tinfoil just a little more yet more? Fostering new mutants will help increase the down-range post-infection death rate by many, and if you are the OverClass, you are saying to yourself ” hopefully by millions or more”.

  8. John

    ‘As this shifts from pandemic to endemic, we think there’s an opportunity here

    A chief financial officer would see an endemic disease as an opportunity for profit and then go home and sleep the sleep of the sociopath.

  9. diptherio

    News of the wired:

    This just in from May First Technology

    Last week our alarms went off when Google began refusing to deliver about three percent of the email messages we sent to them. While three percent doesn’t sound like a lot, it amounts to a considerable number of blocked messages due to the immense number of movement activists that still depend on Google for their email delivery.

    Google refused these emails with the cryptic message: “Our system has detected that this message is 421-4.7.0 suspicious due to the nature of the content and/or the links within.”

    This kind of message, coming from the world’s largest email provider, is cause for alarm.

    Although Google’s email systems are proprietary, we know that they use complex, machine learning based software to scan incoming email and make decisions about whether to accept them or not. You may have heard of this kind of software in the news, often referred to as an algorithm.

    We spent several days analyzing the problem and, with the help of one of our members and a lot of research, we discovered that all but one of the blocked messages contained a link to the bit.ly web site, leading us to this advice for all members: avoid sending email with bit.ly links. We don’t know that using links from other url shortening services will be blocked by Google but to be safe you may want to avoid them.

    1. Carolinian

      It’s news to me that Google is now censoring Gmail. Is that what you’re saying? Or is there some other wrinkle here?

      1. Larry Y

        Can use bit.ly to obfuscate links that people wouldn’t normally click on, so people might click a link that goes to a site that’s running exploits. Or at the very least, get Rick-Rolled…

    2. Jack Parsons

      I once worked for a large-scale op-in emailer: company catalogs and so forth.

      They had a person who talked to Google, Yahoo et. al. all day, every day, about getting their emails unblocked.

      Once a French perfume maker insisted that the subject line be “Sexy! Sexy! Sexy! Sexy!”, and of course all of the mailers blocked it. The emailer liaison lady had to beg a mulligan from all of the mail houses. This was back in the 00s, when this stuff was simpler.

  10. Redlife2017

    In London: Over the past 3 days I have had friends / neighbours tell me about 3 breakthrough infections. And today I had a friend text me telling me he also got a breakthrough (which he was shocked by as he believed the government’s PR). That’s a lot of anecdotes for such a short time period.

    The government is going to poop the bed when the vaccines fail over the next 6 weeks. The almighty U-Turn that is coming is going to be quite the humdinger. Meanwhile I have to hope I don’t get a breakthrough…

    1. Geo

      I know a few in that breakthrough category as well. Seems like a lot of anecdotal evidence contradicting the official story. Yet another “noble lie” that will have a tragic consequence? And considering the well reported fact that the CDC is not tracking mild infections from vaccinated people it seems obvious to anyone with an ounce of reason that the reported stats are bogus. But, I’m not an expert so what do I know?

      “The belief that you can lie to people for their own good is elitist and condescending. A team falls apart when people lose trust.

      Professional credibility takes a long time to build and only an instant to destroy.”


      1. curlydan

        Yahoo’s AI must not be too bad because I get a daily dose of U-S-A breakthrough infection stories after clicking on 1 or 2 recently.

        Rich Eisen for the NFL Network:

        Catt Sadler (some cute celebrity I don’t know):

        They’re popping up everyday. They’re not in the hospital thankfully, but they do appear miserable for a few days. And long Covid, who knows yet?

          1. enoughisenough

            seriously, I’ve been disappointed with the framing of stories at Truthout lately too.

            What’s going on? :(

          2. phoenix

            Dispute the facts then. Who cares if breakthrough cases happen. Deaths and hospitalizations are what matter. Compare the vaccinated and unvaxed numbers on that and then check the narrative

    2. curlydan

      At the current rates, about 1% of the UK is testing positive for Covid every 2 weeks–and this in a country with very good vaccination rates. There’s got to be a lot of breakthroughs going on. A lot of explaining will need to be done.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The only question is why they will blame for it. Maybe they’ll blame young people for partying too much – or the stupid for not getting vaxxed, or…. well, they’ll find someone. Nobody, of course, will want to admit that a vaccine only strategy was fundamentally flawed.

      I think in the UK there is already a U-turn coming – if there is one thing a government there can’t survive is photos of hospitals in chaos. I don’t see any sign of it in the US.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’m sure that the Biden regime will have the media block too many of those hospital images appearing in the same way that the Bush regime had images of coffins of dead soldiers returned from Iraq blocked. And the reason used is that such images would imply false medical information.

    4. Aumua

      I still don’t see that there’s anything new appearing about the vaccines and their effectiveness, that we didn’t know months ago. They don’t necessarily protect you from getting COVID, from transmitting it or even from having symptoms. They do protect from life threateningly serious symptoms. I believe also that they do prevent infection altogether in at least some and probably the majority of exposure cases. Just look at the numbers. Infection and deaths have fallen massively in the U.S. since the vaccine rollout began. Yes in the U.K the cases have rebounded quite a bit, but deaths still remain very low (order of magnitude) compared to Jan and Feb. The vaccine may be less effective against some variants. Also not really a surprise.

      The amount of speculation running rampant in the wild is very high about all this, and I would hope that we try and stay as grounded as possible here. I am willing to consider that my beliefs about the vaccines might be wrong, and that even the craziest theories could be true. But just because something could be true doesn’t mean it is true. I’m willing to accept even anecdotal data points too if they are coming from someone who has significant first hand experience like IM Doc. But even so that is still only one data point among many. It’s probably going to take a lot of evidence to move me from my basic position that the COVID vaccines are generally effective and safe, with some exceptions.

      1. Basil Pesto

        The problem is when you say ‘nothing we didn’t know’, who’s ‘we’? The magic bullet theory of the vaccine was pretty widely disseminated, and was even a future assumption being made last year – eventually vaccines would come and everything would go back to normal. It’s losing steam now, but it had enormous traction for a long time without critical consideration of the unknowns regarding this new treatment. If health authorities and the journalists covering them had been up front about this from the beginning, it would have been better for all concerned, if we go by IM Doc’s formulation of trust being the sine qua non of public health.

        The other issue remains over the questions and concerns about immune escape: That a decent vaccine in a population that takes no other controls (because the population has been running with the magic bullet vaccine theory; see eg the CDC’s Mission Accomplished performance) runs the risk of doing more harm than good in the long run, as more virulent and unmanageable variants of the pathogen develop in this amenable environment. It’s this line of thinking that led me to post this comment in Corbishley’s post late last week (reposting because I’m still interested in input):

        I remain unvaccinated but am now a lot more interested in getting one as Australia seems to be on a bit of a delta knife edge.

        A thought occurred to me this week as to how we might better conceive of the vaccinations, which has been my conception without really realising it until I thought about it this week: Thinking of them as a last line of defence, instead of a (or, in many places, the only) first line of defence. That’s to say, we should think of them, ideally, as a kind of failsafe, after taking various NPIs (border control, masking, ventilation) and prophylaxis (vit D, melatonin and the rest). This is instead of the prevailing “magic bullet” cure theory of the vaccine (although this theory is becoming less prevalent by the day).

        I’d be interested in whether you & the other medical/Covid brains trust posters think this line of thinking has any merit/utility from a public health point of view, although I suspect it’s too late to broadly change the messaging now.

        All of which is to say, vaccination remains a tool, as you rightly point out, but not the tool (because as it stands, there is no singular tool to bring this under control. The sooner this is understood broadly by the public the better off I think we’ll all be).

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just had this medico on TV saying that we have to “learn to live with the virus” causing me to using many unchristian-like words. This was immediately after watching people wearing masks, deserted streets, lock-downs, testing ques, deaths, businesses shutting down, cancelled holidays, hospitalizations rising. That to me is what learning to live with the virus looks like. To hell with that noise. When I hear a medico talking that way, I am now never sure if he is talking advice from the medical/political establishment or whether he is talking his stock portfolio. That type of question was never on my bingo card as in ever.

        2. Aumua

          You are right, when I say “we” I do mean we who are probably exposed to a higher quality of analysis and opinion than many. I suppose I personally never held any “magic bullet” beliefs about that vaccines because of that (still, they are having a positive effect). And I still see the mainstream constantly pushing the idea that continued spread of COVID is all on the unvaccinated, and that “breakthrough” cases in vaccinated people are extremely rare, like this article from today does. I think it’s becoming more and more obvious that breakthrough cases aren’t all that rare.

      2. IM Doc

        I think what you are saying is generally very correct.
        The appropriate studies were never fully and completely done on these vaccines, other than minimal studies about symptom reduction and case numbers. That may be what we are seeing right now.

        The big problem is that they are clearly non-sterilizing – they do not effectively help to end transmission. The issue there is that with a virus highly efficient at mutating – that allows many many more to be infected to give the virus many many more playgrounds in which to mutate.

        We have never really introduced a non-sterilizing vaccine into an acute pandemic before. It is very unclear exactly what all consequences that will entail, if any. There are some concerns about this issue from the veterinary literature – but whether this virus has the ability to do what those animal viruses did in the past is really pure conjecture at this point.

        Again – we are all just going to have to realize that this is a WORLD problem – this is not a DEMOCRAT/REPUB problem, an AMERICA/CHINA problem – a world problem – especially now that we are clearly headed for endemic status.

        In our media I hear all the time that endemic status is fine – we just have to learn to live with it.

        Let me clarify something very clearly – MALARIA is endemic – and it kills millions every year. HIV started as a pandemic and is now endemic – and kills millions every year.

        To be “endemic” in infectious disease is not to be a “teddy bear” like it is being presented so often to the American people right now.

        1. Carolinian

          But if I understand the skeptics there is also the point that Malaria and HIV kill all ages (as did the Spanish Flu) whereas Covid mostly victimizes–mortally–the elderly and already sick. I don’t want to get shelled for amateur theorizing but it does seem to me to be an important point. From the beginning the herd immunizers said protect the elderly as much as possible and take a different approach for those unlikely to become seriously ill.

          I myself am no spring chicken and have always taken the disease seriously, worn a mask, avoided crowds etc. But I’m not sure I should condemn young people for not doing so. Really, when it comes to this disease, I’m not sure about anything.

          1. Raymond Sim

            Physical damage has been found in almost every organ system, including, but not limited to, the heart, lungs, immune system, pancreas and central nervous system.

            This damage is often far out of proportion to the perceived severity of symptoms, and has been found to be widespread in persons of all ages and all states of prior health.

            If the long-term consequences of this do not prove to be widespread suffering and premature death it will be a miracle. So enough with the “only the old and infirm” crap already. And shame on you for propagating the idea.

            1. Carolinian

              Got a link? I don’t think the consensus on “long Covid’ is anywhere close to what you say (although undoubtedly there are cases of it). I won’t demand that you feel ashamed for disagreeing with me.

              1. Yves Smith

                This is NOT long Covid. I have provided God only know how many links, God only knows how many times, on serious Covid damage. For starters, one Texas trauma doc reported 70-80% “worse than smoking” ground glass lung damage in those who were asymptomatic. Four studies found on average the level was more like a mere 50%.

                You participate in Links daily. I have low tolerance for bad faith remarks on issues that have already been well discussed and substantiated.

                1. Carolinian

                  I’ll be honest that I don’t know what to believe and think I said so up thread. If you feel this skepticism is bad faith then apologies. I’m certainly not pushing any sort of medical theory insofar as all I know about medicine is what I read on the web and, as I say, have doubts about much of that these days.

                  But any rate thanks for a comment section that provides people like IM Doc, who do know things.

          2. IM Doc

            I 100% agree with protecting the elderly and high risk as best we can. That is not a herd immunity thing that is just common sense.

            Let me say a word about endemic status by using our last one HIV as an example.

            3 issues of importance to really understand.

            1). There is a meme going around that viruse mutate into something less toxic as time goes on. That is to some degree truth-however the time frame may be much longer than an average human life. We just do not know. Look at HIV. It has not mellowed much if at all. It will nuke an immune system today just like it would in 1980. We have ways to suppress that now but it took decades, billions of dollars and tens of millions of lives. And even now, if the patient stops meds, they will quickly go down the AIDS road all over again.

            2) Assuming that the virus behavior will be the same going forward as it is now is a big mistake. Or even behaving differently in different environments in the world. It could for example become more toxic for kids. Look at AIDS. When it first arrived in the West, it was attacking gay men, drug users and hemophiliacs. But look now in endemic Africa. It is mainly heterosexual non drug users who are the victims and accordingly spread more far and wide. Who knows what COVID has up its sleeves. Also who knows what the entire long COVID situation will be. Things may be very different in a few more years and waves. It could easily just disappear as well.

            3) this is the tragic one. AIDS and malaria are endemic. Both, in particular malaria, have excellent treatments available. But The toll for both in worldwide deaths remain very high. We could do something about that tomorrow but have not. Why? Look at how we have behaved with the vaccines as far as sharing with the world. Shameful. But it likely predicts how we will behave in the future with any COVID cures. Allowing vast swaths of the world to marinate in disease like this is not a great idea for anyone on the planet. We must do better – but do we in the West have the will to buck Big Pharma and other entrenched groups?

            1. Jack Parsons

              As to point #1: it has been alleged that the “Russian or Asiatic Flu” of 1890 was OC43. It killed a lot of people for a few years, then mellowed out. This is our most solid historical lesson. I suspect that our technologies for spreading disease are so much more efficient than 1890.

              If the OC43 story is correct, it implies that our best strategy is to use our amazing lab technology to breed a Covid with Delta’s spreading power but that is just another common cold.


        2. The Rev Kev

          It may be that everything that we are doing is really amounting to doing a ‘holding action’ until the virus mutates into a form that is more benign like happened a century ago with the great flu pandemic.

          1. JBird4049

            It can take a long, long, long time, as in centuries, for some diseases before that happens. Even when it does happen, there could be a new “good” version and the old bad version, at the same time, just like with cholera or smallpox. Both have versions that switched in dominance according to what favors what the most at different places and times in being reliably transmitted.

            So while there is evidence that smallpox was gradually becoming less lethal, during the 3-12 thousand years of its existence, it still killed several hundred million people during the first eight decades of the 20th century, and that is with an effective vaccine, mass vaccinations, and generally experienced, competent health departments. We could have good covid and evil covid ping ponging back and forth for a while.

          1. Jack Parsons

            Tuberculosis is not an interesting comparison, because TB is an utterly weird disease.

            TB baccilli coat themselves in wax. Every month or two they break the seal, do something, then seal up again. You have to take the TB treatment for 6 months daily, to make sure that you catch them when they’re unsealed.

  11. ChrisFromGeorgia

    I am just beyond disgusted with the airlines, they’re all lobbying for opening up international borders despite the situation in the UK with air travel from India not being shut down.

    I’m sure everyone here knows this but just for the sake of reinforcement – every major US carrier took 3 rounds of bailout money (payroll grants, loans) and was required to stop paying investors dividends and halt buybacks.

    They should have gone a step further and banned them from lobbying.

    1. HotFlash

      Just ground ’em permanently. Retrain all the air traffic controllers as organic farmers, plant crops on all the runways, beat the planes into plowshares or portapotties or something useful. If somebody really, really needs to get somewhere else, take a sailing ship. They were quite sufficient for the Greeks, the Romans, the Spanish, the French, and the English to acquire and maintain (up to a point) some pretty big empires.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think this applies to many businesses, not just airlines. They are their own worst enemies, continually lobbying for rapid re-openings, and then squealing when that results in another surge of infections. Its the stop-start nature of the pandemic that is killing businesses.

      I’m amazed that the penny hasn’t dropped (or maybe it has, but they just won’t admit it) for many business lobbies that had they campaigned early on for an elimination strategy like China or New Zealand that they would have had far lower costs in the long term.

      1. ChrisPacific

        In fact a number of high profile members of the business community in NZ did advocate for an elimination strategy, for that exact reason. It probably didn’t make any difference in the approach since the government had already listened to the evidence and decided by then, but having them make public statements in support did help prevent it from becoming a partisan battle of government versus business (much as some people wanted it to be).

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      This is slightly peripheral to your comment — has anyone noticed the new “Real ID” that Homeland Security has cooked up? It will go into effect in 2023. After “Real ID” goes into effect, you will need a current US Passport, or a “Real ID” if you want to travel by air inside the US. The “Real ID” tosses a few bits of document on top of the six points for identification you need to get a driver’s license or state ID card. I can hardly wait for what Homeland Security will cook up next to keep us ‘safe’.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, I have to renew my license and I am not sure if I will get the original version or the new improved and intrusive version. After the last few air flights, I almost swore that I would not take another one ever again, but I have family on the other side of the country.

        And they ain’t trying to keep us safe, they are trying to keep themselves safe.

      2. LifelongLib

        Well, it was Congress and G. W. Bush who gave us Real ID, back in 2005.


        It’s taken this long to implement because the states had to revamp their ID systems to provide compliant documents, and then get the new IDs issued. IIRC Real ID was supposed to be required for air travel later this year but that was pushed back to 2023 because of covid.

  12. allan

    American Academy of Pediatrics recommends masks in schools for everyone over 2, regardless of vaccinations [CNN]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics released new Covid-19 guidance for schools on Monday that supports in-person learning and recommends universal masking in school of everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status – a stricter position than that taken this month by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “The AAP believes that, at this point in the pandemic, given what we know about low rates of in-school transmission when proper prevention measures are used, together with the availability of effective vaccines for those age 12 years and up, that the benefits of in-person school outweigh the risks in all circumstances,” the guidance says. …

    AAP’s more cautious mask guidance is understandable, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. …

    “I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics (is) a thoughtful group. They analyze the situation, and if they feel that that’s the way to go, I think that is a reasonable thing to do,” he said. …

    The lights are on but is anybody home?

  13. fresno dan


    President Joe Biden walked back some of his criticism of Facebook, saying Monday he meant to accuse a dozen users, but not the social media platform itself, of spreading deadly lies about Covid vaccines.

    “Facebook isn’t killing people,” Biden said.

    Biden added that he hopes Facebook will do more to fight “the outrageous misinformation” about coronavirus vaccines being spread on its platform “instead of taking it personally that somehow I’m saying Facebook is killing people.
    Per the discussion yesterday about the government trying to censor Facebook, I reiterate my point that there is far more censorship BY Facebook, than any censorship OF Facebook. And that as big tech pretty much runs the government with regards to how big tech operates, if there is any censorship by the government, it is just big tech putting on Kabuki threater so that big tech can censor whatever it wants and blame government.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s like what Abraham Lincoln once said – “That this nation, under Ayn Rand, shall have a new birth of censorship – and that censorship of the people, by Silicon Valley, for the Corporations, shall not perish from the media.”

    2. Acacia

      At the end of the day, though, can’t we say that the govt is involved in the censorship, and thus it very much becomes a 1st amendment issue?

      I would like to draw your attention to Sean’s post here on the NC forum, on July 16, 2021 at 3:37 pm.

      1. fresno dan

        July 19, 2021 at 9:12 pm
        You have a great point, and I can’t deny it. Of course, if its just the rich and powerful controlling the government, how do you separate Facebook from the government – they are one and the same…

      2. JBird4049

        It is a First Amendment issue. The problem is that the federal courts have become very good at not seeing what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights says, but have become good at seeing what they wish it did. If nothing else, they will construe the meaning of something, like corruption, until it cannot exist in the real world except in very rare or almost impossible situations.

        Further, while the Constitution in general, and the Bill of Rights in particular, where meant to protect the people from the government and keep it under the authority of (or have its authority derived from the consent of) the people, the courts now seem to think that it is the government that needs protection and it should also be the sole source of authority with the people having no right or say in their being controlled.

        So, of course, the legal judgements have become diktats that are concerned with protecting the power and privileges of the elites and denying the rights of the people in the lower classes.

    3. enoughisenough

      welp, as long as you’re only blaming the little people.

      Biden just wanted to make sure everyone knew he only meant ordinary, immiserated people.
      I think we all should assume that’s his real target, at all times.

    4. Jack Parsons

      The core problem is that the printing press for misinformation used to be under tight control under the mainstream media regime, but FB etc. have wrested it loose.

      The people who want to control it are panicking.

    1. fresno dan

      July 19, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      What memories. I lived in Bethesday in a basement “apartment”* (when my superviser saw my apartment once she cried) – I really didn’t think it was so bad. That slumlords house in western PA or AR would be 250K at the most – I’m not making excuses for the slumlord. Just DC is SUCH a weird world were money can be manufactured to bail out Goldman Sachs, but money for the poor will collapse the universe. And the price of rather modest bunaglows are astronomical….
      * One good thing – I lived on Old Georgetown Road, and was able to walk to work at CBER (the biologics part of FDA). And I could do all my drinking in downtown Bethesday and stagger home on foot (although once I almost staggered into traffic on Old Georgetown) and not drive…
      Youth is wasted on the young – if only I could do it over again…right.

  14. VietnamVet

    America’s pandemic list of failures comes down to one. The conscious decision to ignore a hundred years of known scientific and social measures to eradicate viral diseases, including small pox and polio, due to the privatization and monetization of US healthcare in the last 40 years.

    Clearly trust is being lost with every delta variant illness suffered at home, hospitalization, or death of a fully immunized American. If the HHS and FDA had required corporate monitoring of the emergency use injections for adverse effects and efficacy and did contact tracing, we would not in the dark about the causes of the current rise in the number of cases in highly vaccinated nations and the US.

    Everyone and each community in America is on their own. Protect oneself and help others if you can.

  15. fresno dan

    Frank Caporusso, a Long Island man who left a threatening voicemail last year for the judge presiding over the Michael Flynn case, was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.
    In a May 14, 2020, message left on the voice mailbox for US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, Caporusso threatened that a “hot piece of lead will cut through your skull.”
    “Back out of this bulls**t before it’s too late, or we’ll start cutting down your staff. This is not a threat. This is a promise,” Caporusso said on the voicemail.

    Caporusso and his attorneys said he left the voice message while he in the midst of an alcohol dependency stemming from an opioid withdrawal he was suffering from after an injury.
    “I was not thinking well or doing well at the time,” Caporusso said, holding back tears as he described the impact his action had had on his family. He said he wished to “humbly apologize” to Sullivan.
    While announcing the sentence, McFadden emphasized not only the effect the threat had on Sullivan — with whom McFadden said he had not discussed the matter — but its impact on Sullivan’s staff, who were also targeted by Caporusso’s threat. He noted the staff had no security protection and asked Caporusso to think of “what went through their minds” when they walked to the Metro after work.
    McFadden also discussed the broad context of threats and acts of violence judges nationwide have faced in recent years. While Caporusso wasn’t responsible for the actions of others, McFadden said, his threat “exacerbated” that climate.
    “Judicial robes aren’t bulletproof,” the judge said.
    Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.
    But they may get you some time in a federal penitentiary.
    They are just words, and they are usually uttered by drunken imbecils. But most people don’t have the protection that federal judges have – such threats can intimidate people. And do they lead to violence?
    I have never threatened anyone’s life – but I still think about all the things I have said that I wish I could take back. Modern life gives way too many opportunites to speak before thinking…
    AND I would be curious – how good was Mr. Caprorusso’s health insurance?

  16. Jen

    From the department of WTF, I received the following email from Amazon today:

    “One of our updates involves how disputes are resolved between you and Amazon. Previously, our Conditions of Use set out an arbitration process for those disputes. Our updated Conditions of Use provides for dispute resolution by the courts.”

    Not sure if it does or not.


    I’ve used amazon maybe twice in the past year.

    1. petal

      Jen, I received that, too, on the 19th. Found it weird, didn’t know what to think of it. I also have only used amazon maybe once or twice in the past year.

  17. Carolinian

    Here’s an interesting argument from a conservative writer. The advocates of CRT–or if you will racial sensitivity training–are saying that new state laws against this are trampling the free speech rights of teachers and school systems. But surely one aspect of free speech is that your potential listeners have the right not to listen or to ignore you. Therefore the state may indeed have a role in what you are forced to learn in public school.


    Those of us of a certain age can recall the great ’60s debate over prayer in schools. In many quarters at the time it was considered an outrage that schools like mine would have a prayer over the loudspeaker every morning during home room. The right in turn was outraged that they were outraged. But the debate wasn’t that different from now. It was indeed wrong to bring religion into the school and it is also wrong to bring theories on race and history–with an emphasis on “theories”–into the classroom. And to the riposte that evolution was also a theory, of course it was not, although it did bring science into conflict with religion.

    It’s not the government’s role to teach us everything, just the necessary things (and some of us would contend they don’t do a very good job even at that). The NEA should butt out of this one. Kids won’t suffer any great harm or, if you will, benefit (just as we ignored those prayers at the time). But the principle is wrong and may even produce the opposite result of what is hoped.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > CRT

      I don’t even know if CRT is a thing, or if “cultural Marxism” is a thing (it seems like a contradiction in terms, to me. Viewing wage labor, profit, and capital accumulation through a cultural lens, as opposed to through political economy, seems like an odd approach). I’ve read my share of The Bearded One, and reading the right on CRT makes me think of little children juggling power tools; I think they don’t understand the tools, or what they are designed to do. On CRT, the right is just stringing phrases together in a polemic against those they consider enemies.

      I don’t much mind sensitivity training when I think back to what we were taught about Columbus in the schools. I do mind, very much, the 1619 Project being propagated by the New York Times, because it’s bad scholarship, in that its history and claims are demonstrably false, as WSWS has shown. That Hannah-Jones bludgeoned her way to a tenured position based on it is shocking, but not surprising. I suppose one could take the attitude that “what is one more falsehood among so many?” but if that’s where we are, and I had children in the schools, I’d pull them out.

      1. CoryP

        Freddie de Boer and Sam Kriss both had recent essays about the CRT controversy which were the best things I’d read on the issue. (You’ve probably read them since I think both were linked here)

        I mean CRT is definitely a thing, but I don’t think it’s the proper name for The Thing that is pissing everybody off. But it’s a convenient shorthand and definitions change over time (unfortunately) so who knows. (Andrew Sullivan keeps going on about how it’s a rejection of western enlightenment values but that seems hyperbolic)

        As for “cultural Marxism” I’ve always balked at that term. But I guess to outsiders it looks like Marx -> Left -> New Left -> postmodernism/IDpol.

        That’s being extremely charitable. But I’m starting to get less ornery about the fact that people are using labels that I find erroneous, as long as they actually define their terms so I know what the argument is. That often doesn’t happen either though.

      2. Soredemos

        CRT as the right tries to define it isn’t a thing, anymore than ‘cultural Marxism’, which only exists in Jordan Peterson’s idiot brain.

        There absolutely is a plague of identity politics nonsense however, and people are absolutely being canceled and having their lives ruined.

        “Viewing wage labor, profit, and capital accumulation through a cultural lens, as opposed to through political economy, seems like an odd approach.”

        Correct. And that’s the point. The function of all this tripe is to get people to not focus on class. I don’t know how much of this was deliberate, and how much was just educated idiots earnestly pursuing bad ideas up dead end alleys, but the end result is that class discourse is virtually non-existent in the US, and instead we have a plague of grifters (Hannah-Jones, Kendi, Coates, DiAngelo, etc) cashing in big time on bullshit, selling racism as the primary driving force in US history.

        The failure of BLM (and it has failed; nothing significant came out of it, and now Biden and the Dems want to shovel even more money to cops) is I think the single biggest practical outcome of all this. They took a rare opportunity for real, meaningful police reform, and they wasted it because they really believe the underlying issue is solely one of race.

        As ever, you have to look to the left to properly define and examine things. The right partially identifies genuine problems, but their understanding of what is actually going on leaves much to be desired.

        And then you’ve got leftists (or should I say ‘leftists’) who can look at the semi-coherent screeching from the right and say “see, there’s literally nothing to any of this”. But there is something to it. For example the right’s comical overreaction to 1619 painting an ugly picture of US history doesn’t change the fact that 1619 is literally a lie. A different set of lies is not a valid alternative to an overly sanitized view of US history.

        1. Basil Pesto

          The failure of BLM (and it has failed; nothing significant came out of it

          Hey, don’t tell that to the creators of the BLM brand. I’m sure they found the whole experience very moving.

          CRT is just July’s UFO, an initialism-driven boring bit of meme news.

        2. Acacia

          I have to keep reminding myself that in the current context CRT is not the acronym for cathode ray tube. Dah dum.. psssh !

  18. enoughisenough

    To ask Joe Biden and the feckless, scolding blamers of the public:

    Question: What is likely to get people to stay healthy in a pandemic the fastest?
    1. Big, free vaccination drives, targeting public transportation portals, workplaces, farm workers, etc, giving a guaranteed week off work **with pay** for **everyone** after *each* inoculation, and guaranteed free check ups and treatment if there are vaccine-related symptoms (treating people’s reasonable fears with respect)? And mandating masks indoors, sending every person in the country, including the unhoused, testing kits and N95s.
    2. Blaming and accusing these *poorest people in the country (who might also be undocumented*)* of killing everyone else, and also censoring everyone.**

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Amazingly, “it’s Trumpers in the Red States” persists, even though a core Democrat constituency, Blacks, has the lowest vaccination rates of any identity. I think the most frightening thing about this is that the people who push this line may actually believe it.

      1. Soredemos

        Blacks have historical reasons to be skeptical of the government wanting to inject them with something. The Tuskegee experiment is what I usually hear brought up.

        But that comparison seems like it should fall about with about five seconds of thought. Because covid vaccines aren’t just being given to black people. So unless you think pharmacists are part of some vast conspiracy, and that when you go to get the vaccine they’re secretly getting your syringe from a box marked ‘black people only’ and it isn’t the same thing they’re giving to white people…

      2. Soredemos

        “I think the most frightening thing about this is that the people who push this line may actually believe it.”

        I asked my just-graduated-medical-school brother if there was any self-awareness among doctors about how much they’ve screwed up over the last year and a half. Short answer: no, and that includes my brother himself. He seemed bemused that there was much for doctors to feel ashamed about. The whole set of cliches: it’s red state idiots refusing to get vaccinated that are the problem, anyone can easily get vaccinated (he was completely baffled by the concept that working people should have any excuse for not getting it. ‘They give it out for free at Rite Aid, so unless you literally work 24/7 you can get it done’), if ivermectin did anything there would be ‘credible’ studies showing it, etc.

        For the last one especially I got the distinct sense that he had never actually sat down and done any reading on the subject. When I suggested since ivermectin is so cheap and safe, even if it does literally nothing why not do it anyway as a placebo, he insisted that it isn’t really all that safe, but then didn’t elaborate. Whereas my reading says that ivermectin is an incredibly safe drug.

        Him not reading about it would make sense, since he had/has so much else to do as a student, but it seems like he’s just adopting his teachers party line and assuming they’re correct.

        ‘Evidence based medicine’ is an ideal, one that is currently completely failing to be lived up to. Science is a social activity, with all the failings that come along with that. It will ultimately self-correct in the long-term, but in the meantime it’s a lot of elitist cliques and plain corruption.

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