Links 7/21/2021

The Spanish island that communicates by whistle BBC

Ishmael Reed Gets the Last Laugh New Yorker

Sacklers did not influence Purdue in deal talks, examiner finds Reuters

NYPD cop who ‘MacGyvered’ a potato chip bag and duct tape into a bandage to save stabbing victim says it was the first time he had tried the plan Daily Mail

Facebook cracks down on discussing ‘hoes’ in gardening group NY Post

Testing the Air to Tell a Story: How We Investigated Air Pollution Near Florida’s Sugar Fields ProPublica


Prince Harry tell-all not meant to be a ‘f–k you’ to royal family — honest! NY Post. Page Six.


US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII AP

US sees COVID-19 cases surge by 224% in last three weeks as CDC director says the Indian ‘Delta’ variant now makes up 83% of all new infections Daily Mail


Can Employers Require Employees To Get Vaccinated? Plus, Answers To Other Legal Questions As We Return To The Office Worth

Some Sacramento Businesses Require Proof Of Vaccination Upon Entry CBS Sacramento

Prime minister risks major rebellion over Covid jab passports, say Tory MPs Guardian

Mask mandates make a return — along with controversy WaPo

Immigrant Rights Activists Mobilize to Vaccinate Their Community Payday Report

J.&J. Vaccine May Be Less Effective Against Delta, Study Suggests NYT

Covid: Anger as half of Australians in lockdown again BBC


No deaths due to lack of oxygen reported by states during second Covid wave, claims Centre Scroll

India’s true pandemic death toll is likely to be well over 3 million, a new study finds. NYT

More than 200 people in U.S. being monitored for possible monkeypox exposure, CDC says Stat

West Coast Wildfires

Monster wildfire tests years of forest management efforts AP

Oregon, California Wildfires Grow as Weather, Drought Hinder Containment Efforts WSJ

Returning home after Germany’s deadly floods Deutsche Welle

The Stench of Climate Change Capital & Mail

Climate crisis: 50 photos of extreme weather around the world – in pictures Guardian

Top US scientist on melting glaciers: ‘I’ve gone from being an ecologist to a coroner’ Guardian

Is any country installing renewables fast enough to reach climate goals? Ars Technica

How a powerful US lobby group helps big oil to block climate action Guardian

Class Warfare

JPMorgan grants Jamie Dimon ‘special’ stock award to stay at bank FT

Companies claim there’s a labor shortage. Their solution? Prisoners Guardian

Shoplifting Is Big News; Stealing Millions From Workers Is Not Fair

The Billionaires Did It. They Made Spaceflight Uncool. Defector

Bezos Blasts Off & Gets Blasted Consortium News

One of the First Things Bezos Says After Returning From Space: Humanity Should Pollute It Common Dreams

NPR’s Brilliant Self-Own TK News. Matt Taibbi.


UK to set out new Northern Ireland protocol plan after Cummings admits Brexit could be mistake – live Guardian

UK sets collision course with EU under plans to redraw Brexit deal FT

The Greatest Threat to Britain Isn’t China or Russia, It’s Boris Johnson Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Biden Administration

Biden taps progressives’ favorite for DOJ antitrust post Politico

Unscripted remarks start to haunt President Biden The Hill

Warmongers Should Be Treated Like Serial Killers And Child Rapists  Caitlin Johnstone

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Snoop List Has 40 Indian Journalists, Forensic Tests Confirm Presence of Pegasus Spyware on Some The Wire

Presidents, Prime Ministers, and a King Among Potential NSO Spying Targets, Including French Leader Macron Gizmodo

Pegasus Project: 14 World Leaders in Leaked Database The Wire

The Caribbean

Homeland Security Has Warning For South Florida Boaters Planning To Take Part In Flotilla To Cuba

Haiti Arrests 3 Police Officers as Part of Investigation Into President’s Killing NYT

Ariel Henry Is Set To Be Haiti’s New Prime Minister. Here’s What To Know About Him NPR


India looks to East Asia, Middle East in hunt for mango buyers South China Morning Post

Rich outlive poor by 7.5 years, upper caste women live 15 years more than Dalits: Oxfam report The Print

Modi accused of treason by opposition over India spyware disclosures Guardian


13 dead, 100,000 displaced as flooding rains hit central China South China Morning Post



‘Everyone is dying’: Myanmar on the brink of decimation Asia Times

Antidote du Jour. KLG25: “Sand Hill Crane in Sarasota, Florida. Part of the year-round population. True snowbirds.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its very sad for Liverpool, but not unexpected.

      I spent a little time in Liverpool as a student and the architecture never stopped amazing me. There were buildings there literally half a century before their time in terms of design and engineering. The city was incredibly rich and cutting edge in the early to mid 19th Century. The seafront is amazing in its scale… and dereliction. Its scattered with wondeful buildings, mostly in a bad state.

      But of course to make it worse, the city has been the victim of terrible ‘regeneration’ schemes since the 1980’s, almost all involving PPP in some form or another. Some are just refections of their time – the nice but very suburban housing they built around Scotts Anglican Cathedral (one of many amazing structures) in the 1980’s. But the seafront junk is the worst – corporate cost driven architecture at its very worst.

      One question of course is why the horrible selfish capitalists of the early 19th Century could build such magnificent buildings while the horrible selfish capitalists of the early 20th Century just build crap. One reason I would guess is that the former lived in the city and were proud of it. The latter now live in Chester or the Cotswolds so couldn’t give a toss about the city. Actually, I think many middle and upper class English actively hate Liverpool and its people.

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        :…why the horrible selfish capitalists of the early 19th Century could build such magnificent buildings while the horrible selfish capitalists of the early 20th Century just build crap…”

        Would be interesting if anyone knows of a paper/study on that sort of thing. In addition to the ‘I live here and want to be proud of what I built (and have the local gentry envious of what I funded/built’ reason, I have always assumed the principal reason is simply the ability to scientifically shave *every* spare ounce of ‘fluff’ not absolutely required for the function of a building into profits instead.

        Then again, one other less nefarious reason could also be the technology of building has morphed into so many new techniques and materials that the imposing old-timey edifices of stone and brick are no longer required….so builders and architects have a lot more free rein to put up ‘flights of fancy’ architecture that may or may not be aesthetically pleasing to most.

        But, probably mostly just profits. I can’t use a carved stone gargoyle, stained glass window, or mahogany carved wainscotting to buy a new yacht after all. Nor will any of those things give a lick of value to the shareholders.

        1. hunkerdown

          It has nothing to do with profits — at least, not that particular notable’s profits. Scientific management does reliably ruin everything organic. Tough to keep totalizing ideologies in their own lane, however.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          There was an interesting study years ago on Rome on the reasons why the rich sponsored so many public buildings. There was (I think in the third century AD) a dramatic drop off in public structures which used to be attributed to economic stress, but is now thought otherwise. Put simply, in Rome if you’d made a bit of money and wanted to take a step into the influential classes, the way to do it was to sponsor a public fountain or baths or statue to a God or whatever you could afford. It was a way of getting the up and coming wealthy to fund what probably should have been paid for by the existing wealthy. Somewhere along the line, this culture changed (I think with more formalised taxation, I can’t quite recall), and suddenly nobody felt the need to provide any public goods any more.

          There was also definitely some credentialed manipulation. In late 18th and early 19th Century, there was a sort of ‘entry fee’ by way of showing you were not just rich, but very tasteful, and if you were clueless you did this by hiring the most fashionable architect/landscape architect/artist to build you a house/garden, etc. This coiterie of artists no doubt manipulated this system to ensure there was a very tight conceptualisation of what was ‘beautiful’. So while there were swings in fashion, it was quite rare for the well off in those days to build anything that wasn’t exceptionally beautiful. To do anything else exposed them to ridicule. As wealth spread out later in the 19th Century this broke down as a new generation of nouveau riche started to build whatever the hell they wanted – if that included a monsterous fairly castle or a gigantically out of proportion fake Parthenon, then so be it.

          This wasn’t uniquely European – at least one writer I’ve read on Japanese culture has described a similar process where a core of artists maintained a highly restrained ‘official’ very tasteful ‘Japanese’ form of art and achitecture (or theatre in the form of Noh), while most regular Japanese hated this and loved the more over the top gaudiness of kabuki and weird and whacky art. In short, the credentialed artists had the rich on a tight lead most of the time creating what we now think of as a very refined aesthetic which was completely at odds with what people wanted.

          With Liverpool, like many British cities, there was I think a genuine municipal pride, along with strong one-upmanship among the newly rich, and arguably the opening up of the class system meant a lot of really talented architects and engineers grabbed their chance at big commissions.

          One example of how it could go wrong was the railways. The first generation of railways, such as the London to Bristol line, were no-expense spared operations, with gigantic sums spent on not just the lines, but amazing bridges and viaducts and major railway stations. However, very soon it was clear that these were losing vast amounts of money, and the Brunels were displaced by value engineers from the 1860’s onwards. You can see it on maps, where the first railways were arrow straight from destination, while the later railways winded along the natural topography – less efficient, but far cheaper to build. The bridges and other structures became more functional and often deeply ugly. Occasionally you’d get money thrown at something impressive (like St. Pancras Station), but ultimately it was the value engineers who won the day over the architects and visionaries like Brunel.

          1. a fax machine

            As profit ratios decline so does associated investments in aesthetics, reliability and durability. In the end the only thing oligarchs can build are half-functional shacks that are leased from a supplier. The firm itself is raided for cash at the very end, and then recycled into a newer consolidated firm. I use the term “shack” seriously – the metal tilt-up warehouses that constitute most industrial factory design today vs the concrete fortresses of the 20th century and the brick gothic factories of the 19th. Our children will get plastic and fiberglass ones, designed to be as disposable as the logistics and businesses that run through them. This is the society we’ve created, and perhaps the only plausible result of prolonged capitalism: everything is made out of recycled plastic which eventually becomes a layer of grease between topsoil and bedrock in the next century, returning to where it came as the planet becomes incapable of sustaining human life.

            This is especially common in modern power industries. This is the story of PG&E’s fall due to their own investors deliberately choosing to destroy the firm as the state will endlessly bail them out. In the last two centuries PG&E once spent the money on not just a reliable, durable power system but also grand buildings to house power turbines and transformers, now reduced to fenced paddocks. PG&E once attempted to build the next generation of physics research with the nuclear reactors they constructed; but halfway through investors realized this was too hard which led to nuclear’s demise within California. The replacement has been cheap imported Chinese solar panels that will inevitably break, wind up in a landfill, and poison groundwater. And gas imported from Mexico, Nevada and Arizona where non-people live.

            It’s why all modern corporate R&D is just computers and analytics, useful but limited. It’s also extremely cheap to do and the results can be easily licensed out and traded on slips of paper rather than trucks, trains or barges. Why build the next generation of materials or products when you could pivot to a service economy? And such has been the west’s gradual decline to this point. The whole planet will suffer as untold amounts of poison are dumped into the ocean and the air in a vain attempt to sustain this.


        3. bob

          We have such horribly boring rich psychopaths these days. They build penis shaped rockets and race each other to space. We did that a half a century ago.

          “but they’re so revolutionary!”

          Not one of them will be remembered for anything other than being tremendous bores.

    2. JohnA

      The locals will nick it back. Sadly but seriously, the Three Graces buildings at the Pierhead on which the listing was based, have been swamped my recent architecture of a dubious nature. The decision is no surprise.

    3. Acacia

      A friend who worked for UNESCO on that project just told me the following:

      UNESCO per se didn’t take the decision as it’s not for UNESCO to decide but the intergovernmental committee of 21 countries having ratified the WH convention. Important to know as it’s the states which discuss based on technical expertise provided by UNESCO, and other experts, and there is a lot of political pressure. The UK was just rolling the ball. Sad but healthy decision. […] The UK and City did not consider protecting the site as a priority as no necessary measures were taken and implemented as per request over the past ten years.

      Official news:

    4. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I have just uploaded a post on UNESCO’s decision and encourage readers to take a look.

    1. Jackiebass63

      It more accurately should be called weather change. Over a much longer time frame it would then be called climate change.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Average global temperature has risen and will continue to rise. THAT is climate change, global warming, a climate crisis. All of it.

      2. Aumua

        Weather changes would be an effect of climate change/disruption, so it’s kinda hard to say I guess. Bottom line: extreme weather events, massive upheavals, intense coastal flooding, areas becoming uninhabitable, mass migrations and so on.

    2. Milton

      There are a few “lifeboat” areas–Tasmania, South Island, coastal PNW, for example–that will provide climate relief for perhaps a generation, or so. But even areas such as these will be overwhelmed by rising seas, extreme temperatures, and (particularly in the U.S.) societal collapse.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I attended an ask the candidate session for some local town counselors here in Port Townsend, WA. It was about housing and they all agreed that the town already was feeling the pressure from people moving here because of climate change. So it’s not some future things, it is already happening.

    3. Sawdust

      Any “good” place is just gonna be overrun by people from the bad places. Better to stay put and learn how to live in a scorching desert that’s underwater two weeks a year.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its at least 2 decades ago, but I recall talking to a climate scientist friend who was at a conference in NY and said that there was a semi-lighthearted session on ‘where should i move my family to be safe?’ The concensus was (for those in North America) was somewhere along the Oregon/Washington State, up to Vancouver coast. We now know thats not an option at all, there are all sorts of unexpected problems popping up. Its really anyones guess.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Here in the western NC mountains it’s been relatively moderate all summer so far. I’m rather surprised, having been here only about 3 months. In 10 or 20 years, though, who knows? I’m glad I’m not up in Boston this year with only window A/C again though.

        2. Nel

          “unexpected problems popping up” like a giant tidal wave, fires and explosions caused by the Cascadia Subduction Zone Megaquake, plus radioactivity released from the Hanford sludge tanks.

          Anyone who still drives a car, uses air conditioning, heat, electricity, plastic or industrial chemicals has the option of abandoning them to show their commitment to helping stop climate change. The Indians and Chinese need your efforts so they can continue to pollute.

          1. Temporarily Sane

            The Indians and Chinese need your efforts so they can continue to pollute.

            Wait, when did they force Americans to stop polluting, driving and using AC?

            Talk about a non-sequitor…

        3. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

          “safe?’ The concensus was (for those in North America) was somewhere along the Oregon/Washington State, up to Vancouver coast.”

          Perceived “safety” and potential risk is always in the eye of the beholder. There are many considerations involved and the data available should always be of the highest quality, before truly informed decisions have been made operational. That is, for example, Cascadia Subduction Zone:

          1. “The last known megathrust earthquake in the northwest was in January, 1700, just over 300 years ago. Geological evidence indicates that such great earthquakes have occurred at least seven times in the last 3,500 years, a return interval of 400 to 600 years.”

          2. “Oregon has the potential for a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake caused by the Cascadia Subduction Zone and a resulting tsunami of up to 100 feet in height that will impact the coastal area.”


      2. Roger

        I remember Howard Kunstler making this point quite a few years ago, the migration south from the rust belt will be reversed. Places like upper New York state will once again become more populated given the milder (i.e. less hot and humid) weather and access to water. The old South may revert to what it was in the 1950s, the South West to desert, and the mid-west give a rerun of the 1930s dust-bowl.

        It won’t be “by the 2070s”, things are moving considerably faster than that, especially with the continuing spike in methane levels (worse than CO2 by 100 times over a 20 year period). The climate is starting out of its slumber and will prove that old man climate can get up to a trot when he wants to. The outlier will be what happens to the Jet Stream, if it starts fully collapsing then even the “safe” places will have climate chaos.

    4. Mantid

      C14, Naw, not the upper mid-west. Continental climates are nearly always extreme. But then again, near a coast ….. hmmm … where to go. There’s an expression, “There’s no Planet B”.

      A man the other day offered me a bottle of water. When I explained, “Thanks but no thanks”, he was confused when I explained why. If we all start drinking (fresh) bottled water then we won’t care if the water from the spigot is horrible. If we all (rich, average, and poor) drank from the same well I think our general water quality would improve.

      1. Isotope_C14

        I like that Mantid. Drinkin’ the tap here in Berlin. Seems fine and quite hard as well.

    5. lordkoos

      A lot of people seem to be moving to Montana (including many celebrities) however the heat will not spare the state — there will continue to be wildfires and the accompanying toxic smoke. We have been talking about the PNW coast where it tends to stay cool and damp throughout the year.

    6. elissa3

      Altitude goes a long way in attenuating the changes. Here in northern NM, at 7,000 feet, most do not have or need air conditioning. Winters can be cold, but so what? The one severe problem is the ongoing drought. A partial solution is not to increase our population size.

      1. kareninca

        We have a CA poster (Wachumi) who has been saying that for years now. But it is no longer working so well where he is. His old calculations of how much the temperature goes down per 1000 feet up, are no longer holding.

    7. CanCyn

      I don’t think we can move away from climate crisis. Yes some places will be better for longer than others but those places will be overrun with climate refugees and no doubt will eventually succumb. Having said that, I never thought either coast made much sense. Ocean levels and storms. Obviously not too close to forests either. We are in a rural area but mostly farms, not too far north in Ontario. Think this is where we’ll be staying. I used to think I was old enough (b. 1961) that I wouldn’t see any real climate caused chaos. Now I am not so sure.

  1. zagonostra

    >Can Employers Require Employees To Get Vaccinated? Plus, Answers To Other Legal Questions As We Return To The Office – Worth

    “I think it’s really interesting that employers can ask for what I assumed to be a private medical thing.”

    “Yes. It is unusual. Being allowed to ask about vaccine status feels like a step in a different direction. But what we’ve discovered during the pandemic is that employers may be permitted to do a little bit more than they could before to protect the health and safety of employees.”

    Indeed it not only “feels like a step in a different direction” but a dangerous one as well. “Permitting an employer to do a little bit more” in an environment where the majority of employees have no union representation or legal recourse, seems to be moving in a dangerous direction. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions. Protecting the “health and safety of employees” is a desideratum, but I worry about the untoward consequences.

    1. HotFlash

      Will these employers also assume the liability that the vaccine manufacturers have had waived?

      1. Mikel

        People are supposed to be taking the shots for the benefit of society, but society or the companies that profit owe them nothing if anything goes wrong.

        And how much shooting up are people going to expected to do?
        Everybody says risks are low from shots, but shot after shot after shot? Increasing the chances to end up an insignificant stat to them as they keep saying “benefits outweigh risks”?
        WTH does it end?

        1. tegnost

          People are supposed to be taking the shots for the benefit of society

          People are supposed to be taking the shots for the benefit of the economy

          It’s the only life that matters

          1. saywhat?

            It used to be that people in the US were much more self-sufficient wrt food, clothing and shelter with much less need for money for essentials.

            Now we are a nation of rent (including mortgage payments), debt and wage slaves where money ITSELF is the one essential.

            How did it happen? By ignoring the Old Testament wrt economic issues such as usury and the concentration of land ownership.

            1. tegnost

              My own controversial statement is that the current popularity of atheism is derived from it’s ability to allow one to worship oneself

              1. Temporarily Sane

                And in a society of people who believe in nothing beyond their own self-interest and their short existence on planet Earth, nihilism and and desperate hedonic escape from despair become the norm.

              2. Big River Bandido

                That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of atheism, and kind of offensive actually.

              3. HotFlash

                Absolutely! Because everyone was always good in religious societies. Well, there was that little Salem incident, and maybe the Inquisition, and possibly that bit with the Buddhists and the Rohingya, oh, and Modi and the Muslims, and almost everybody and the Jews, or do I mean Muslims again, except Israel’s treatment of Palestinians (who are also Semites, BTW, although I read denials of that that don’t make any sense)? The Westborough Baptist Church, is of course *exemplary* as was the Rev. Jim Jones (apparently it was Flavor-ade, not KoolAde, but I digress). Do I make my point? Do I have to label it snark? I can revere my planet and the life on it, my fellow beings, the universe of which I am a temporarily sentient part, without needing to personify a Supreme Being. Actually.

                1. tegnost

                  no need to label the snark, I said controversial…and imo any ism is a belief system and atheism is no different than the rest of them

        2. lordkoos

          From what I can gather, future COVID vaccinations may be better designed and less risky… supposedly. The NovaVax seems promising.

          However unless the world is 80% vaccinated (a very long shot, given the logistics and big pharma’s stance on patents) we’ll be playing whack-a-mole with new variations every year.

    2. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      “To protect the safety of employees” is such bull crap. I worked during the pandemic, and I saw how little employee safety meant to employers.

    3. JohnnySacks

      The success and complete indifference to the ‘Just Say No’ Nancy Reagan campaign of the 80’s coming home to roost. Not that for one solid minute I thought my job acceptance was into some sort of democratic organization, but that acceptance was for time not only during the work day, but after work, weekends, and on vacation.

  2. timbers

    Can Employers Require Employees To Get Vaccinated? Plus, Answers To Other Legal Questions As We Return To The Office Worth

    While not mandating vaccination (and thanks to those who pointed out Covid’s are not really actual vaccinations but will use the term knowing that), my employer allows us to not wear masks at our desks and gives us additional days off, if we provide proof of vaccination. They are using carrots to encourage us to vaccinate.

    I fully support vaccine mandates. They provided significant not perfect protection. Those who do not vaccinate, may be contributing to a future new “lockdown” and I for one would like to avoid that.

    “In 1905, the Supreme Court ruled that a state can mandate vaccines, and accompany those vaccine mandates with a criminal fine for those not in compliance. More broadly, the court ruled that the state can impose “reasonable regulations” to protect the public health, even when such regulations interfere with individual rights.”

    1. Lemmy Caution

      All of this assumes the vaccines work and provide sterilizing immunity; they don’t.

      In some shocking news out of Massachusetts – 43% of all new Covid cases from July 10-16 occurred in people who were fully vaccinated.

      That should be the lead story on mainstream news media and it should be sparking a national conversation about vaccine effectiveness, social distancing, mask mandates, lockdowns and the entire plan to eradicate Covid 19.

      An immediate first step would be for the CDC to change its policy of only focusing on breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death and acknowledge that it’s a much, much bigger issue.

      Or will they continue to promote the fantasy that once you’re vaccinated you can return to normal life without a care in the world?

      This goes for employers as well. If they think little employee vaccine passports mean doodly-squat, they’ve been listening to CDC guidance too much.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If the Biden regime was hoping to push this news out of pubic recognition before next year’s midterms, they will run out of runway before even the end of this year. More so as the effectiveness of the first round of double vaccinations starts to run out. Will they have social media like Facebook crack down on this information? That would be stupid and shortsighted that as well as ineffective. So yeah, that is precisely what they will do.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        On Monday’s edition of “Breaking Points,” Saagar Enjeti opined on the reinstitution of mask mandates in some jurisdictions, a policy which he is very much against, contending that it’s masks today and lockdowns, again, tomorrow.

        He leaned very heavily into the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” sloganeering, and the cdc “guidelines” that say “vaccinated” people shouldn’t have to mask up. While he, of course, “respects” the “choice” to remain “unvaccinated,” he doesn’t feel that he or anyone else who did what they were told should be punished (my word) by being subjected to “restrictions” meant only to protect the recalcitrant “vaccine” deniers.

        His take was that “whenever” he, as a “vaccinated” person, gets infected with the Delta variant, it will just be like a little cold and he’ll get over it in a few days.

        So, with the “vaccine” failing at being an actual “vaccine,” this is where the conventional wisdom is going to have to go–if you don’t get myocarditis or a reawakening of Epstein-Barr or have a miscarriage, your case of covid will prolly be mild enough to only put you out of commission for a few days like a cold, so get the jab or pay the consequences. Because those who got it deserve the rewards they were promised, regardless of the actual real-world circumstances.

        1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

          “Why can’t we just punish *these* people so that I can get back to consuming?” has been a constant refrain sense the beginning of the pandemic. “Why can’t we just quarantine fat and old people instead?” etc.

          1. Petter

            “Work to survive, survive by consuming, survive to consume; the hellish cycle is complete.”  – Raoul Vaneigem

        2. Jason Boxman

          It looks like at this pace, we’ll certainly have enough data to know one way or the other about long-COVID in vaccinated individuals that suffer breakthrough infections by years end.

          Another long, disturbing and bizarre year.

        3. Aumua

          Re: whether the COVID vaccines are actually “vaccines” or not.

          Now I know Reuters is not necessarily the be all end all of truth, but I would rather trust that than this guy:

          ..who is not a medical doctor or scientist, and who is one of the key personalities in the Plandemic videos. This is the guy who originated the “it’s not really a vaccine” b.s. based on some kind of patent office legalese, and I recommend that anyone treat anything he says with a high degree of skepticism.

      3. An Architect

        Forgive me, and perhaps I’m moving the goalposts, but the original conceit of the Covid vaccination program was to drastically reduce serious illness, hospital admittance, and deaths. In fact, those were the criteria by which the various vaccines were judged, not a magical cloak impervious to transmission. Case load, therefore, is really not the metric to watch closely. Instead, hospital admittances and deaths (vaccinated vs. unvaccinated). The Water Cooler posts here are illuminating.

        Yes, given time delays of infection => hospital, I might have to eat my words in a few weeks. However, the rates of hospitalization and deaths are either in decline or flattening in the US, especially in regions where the vaccination rate is high.

        Even with the Massachusetts story, the graphs and statistics cited show a flattened trend for hospitalizations and deaths. I’m eager to see those same graphs in 1-2 weeks.

        Also, your point about the efficacy of vaccines equating to sterilizing immunity is incorrect. Some of the world’s most famous vaccines do not provoke sterilizing immunity (polio, hep B). Vaccines can succeed just fine without sterilizing immunity at reducing disease (as opposed to infection) and saving lives.

        1. Yves Smith

          No, you are falling in with goalpost-moving.

          You are correct that the EUA test results were only of serious infections and hospitalizations. Pfizer didn’t even test trial participants weekly (Moderna did) so it had no idea re mild or asymptomatic infections.

          However, when the vaccines were launched, they most assuredly were presented as providing protection against infection. Not only did Rochelle Walensky say that, but I saw public service ads in Alabama that said that (they ran only for a month or so but they most assuredly ran; our aides even commented on them being inaccurate).

          1. TimH

            Was the case presented as “protection against infection” or “complete protection against infection”?

            1. Count Zero

              “protection against infection” or “complete protection against infection”?

              Or protection against the EFFECTS of that infection? No vaccine can prevent you from picking up a virus. It can help you fight the effects of having picked up the virus.

              So the question is — are vaccinated people less likely to be ill, hospitalised or die then the unvaccinated? It’s a straightforward empirical question. Early days but so far the answer in the UK is a very clear yes.

            2. Yves Smith

              They don’t use big words like “protection” on TV except for birth control.

              The ads clearly said that if you get vaccinated, you won’t get Covid. One of our aides who is normally very quiet was so shocked she talked back to the TV: “That’s wrong.”

              Walensky said the same thing early on and was widely criticized.

        2. hunkerdown

          Then why are vaccine passports even a thing, if the vaccines were never designed to curb transmission? What benefit, exactly, do they bring?

          The only plausible answer, aside from PMC throwing their weight around, is a cross-marketing deal with select (exclusive!) venues.

          1. TimH

            If everyone at a venue is vaccinated, then there is low (but not zero) risk…. but if a single person isn’t, the risk rises significantly, because that single person breathes on a lot of people in a venue. As the number of non-vaccinated people rises, the risk rises as a ! factor, probability-wise.

            1. HotFlash

              Hello! Those vaccinated people will do a lot of breathing, too. And probably singing, shouting, dancing, exercising, kissinh, and hugging because they can.

              Vaccinated people can and do get Covid. We do seem to be seeing fewer hospitalizations and deaths per capita, so is that b/c of the vax or b/c the delta variant is less deadly? There is also the documented long-term damage that Covid does to heart, lungs, etc. etc. even in mild and asymptomatic cases.

              Immunity to corona viruses fades fairly quickly. That’s why you can get more than one cold in a year, that’s why flu shots are hit-or-miss *and* annual.

              Corona viruses mutate, that’s what they do. The swine flu pandemic of 2009? H1N1, that is a strain of the Spanish flu.

          2. Pelham

            Just spitballing here, but I think the idea is that if a given assemblage of people is 100% vaccinated, then those might transmit the virus would only be transmitting it to people who won’t suffer the disease or will come down with a minor case at worst. So vaccination as a society-wide strategy or as part of the price of admission to certain venues would be more about potential infectees than infectors.

            1. hunkerdown

              Those who have been infected (or re-infected) at the venue are still going to be propagating the disease when they traipse around in what little we can still call “public” without proper underwear on their face, flaunting their saucy little sinuses to everyone and God reminiscent of an ambitious tri-Delt on rush week.

              At most it provides a “reasonable action” defense against a customer or employee who catches the bug, which is probably all those venues really wanted.

            2. HotFlash

              those might transmit the virus would only be transmitting it to people who won’t suffer the disease or will come down with a minor case at worst

              Well, that’s nice. But those people will bring it home, to work, to their gym, for instance. Home to their children, parents, siblings — on and on. IM Doc (fully vaxxed in April) tested positive ystrdy or day before. How many patients had he seen? Were all of them young and healthy? Considering his line of work, probably not.

              What if a person goes to a gym and gets infected? What if that person is, oh, for instance, a teacher or a court clerk or a hairdresser or a nanny or a boss or a shoe salesperson — someone who sees lots of people in a day, or maybe just a few people for long periods of time indoors?

              What if a person is an opera singer (I know lots of them)? Getting a lung or vocal chord damage would end their careers.

              If only claims regarding the (chosen) vaccines were subject to the stringent standards of proof that IVM is!

          1. Yves Smith

            We’ve criticized NEJM’s writeups. I’d worry about them being, erm, not as exacting as one would like. But they’ve cheerleaded the vaccines, and so one would assume any slippage in precision would favor the drugmakers.

            I’d look to either the FDA write-up on the trials or the protocols submitted by Pfizer and Moderna. Because I am on a plane, this isn’t a great time for me to be trolling the Internet.

            1. Cuibono

              Here you are:
              Primary Efficacy Endpoints
              Study C4591001 has two primary endpoints:
              • First primary endpoint: COVID-19 incidence per 1000 person-years of follow-up in
              participants without serological or virological evidence of past SARS-CoV-2 infection before
              and during vaccination regimen – cases confirmed ≥7 days after Dose 2
              • Second primary endpoint: COVID-19 incidence per 1000 person-years of follow-up in
              participants with and without evidence of past SARS-CoV-2 infection before and during
              vaccination regimen – cases confirmed ≥7 days after Dose 2.

              1. Yves Smith

                Sorry, this is an abject misrepresentation and it’s pretty disgraceful. At best, the FDA fell in with Pfizer setting a definition of what it meant to get Covid that was more stringent than actually being infected. You had to be infected and meaningfully symptomatic.

                Pfizer did not test for Covid. Moderna did, weekly. Pfizer did not. Pfizer participants reported to a nurse if they had symptoms and if the nurse deemed them to merit a Covid test, only then were they tested. So Pfizer would never capture asymptomatic cases in the placebo group of the control.

                1. Cuibono

                  “Sorry, this is an abject misrepresentation”
                  By the FDA you mean. No doubt about that. they argued ti was too expensive to do the other. Rubbish

        3. me

          Also keep in mind that CT, NY & MA were sending covid + people back to long term care & group homes. I am sure that added to the case & death rate. These facilities aren’t set up to isolate people. Bet that is why that public health person in Biden admin pulled his/her mom out but didn’t warn other people in PA about the dangers.
          A friend of the family that worked at a group home kept complaining to the health department about this, of course nothing changed. He got sick, ignored his symptoms cause he had grandkids to care for & junk insurance, by the time he got to the hospital it was too late.
          Wonder how many other states did this?

      4. Milton

        A lot of numbers are being tossed about. I wanted to look at an early article regarding the 95% efficacy of the mRNA vaccines as explained in the popular press. In this write-up from Feb 2021: COVID-19: What does 95% efficacy actually mean?
        I found this nugget: “One common misunderstanding is that 95% efficacy means that in the Pfizer clinical trial, 5% of vaccinated people got COVID. But that’s not true; the actual percentage of vaccinated people in the Pfizer (and Moderna) trials who got COVID-19 was about a hundred times less than that: 0.04%
        So, according to what was being written, the vaccines were not only supposed to lessen the disease, if you were one of the unfortunate “breakthrough” cases, your chances of actually catching it were numbers that bordered on zero.
        Now, knowing what I know, I would still take the vaccine, as I believe the outcomes with it are far better than without. But Jeeze, I wish Pharma was more forthcoming about the new vaccines and the press folks were a little more sceptical in their reporting.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The problem was masks and shutdowns were still big when they were coming up with these numbers. I think the breakout in November and December followed by the vaccination reduced the potential for spreading, but all those people who had Covid over six months ago can catch it again.

        2. HotFlash

          The NC house physician, IM Doc, who taught medical statistics for decades, says 95% does not mean what you think it means. He wrote briefly on it here back in June. I am pretty sure there is a more recent (week? two?) post in which he actually crunches the numbers for the various stats that are relevant to physicians but SwissCows won’t find it for me.

          1. pasha

            thanks for the link. yes, “relative risk reduction” does not mean “absolute risk reduction” — different concepts!

          2. Milton

            Thanks for that. Answered exactly any questions I had regarding the trials and numbers associated with them. The Doc also three some shade at the press for allowing ambiguity to remain in as far as what the numbers truly represented.

      5. R

        No proper clinical researcher ever said that the vaccines provide perfect and sterilising immunity. They were crossing their fingers for 50% immunity.

        Sadly, political managers at CDC or elsewhere appear to overstated vaccine benefits in the US but you and others are not helping matters by tilting at their windmills.

        Any vaccine is leaky but that does not stop it working. For example, with 40% unvaccinated showing 60% of cases and vice versa, vaccination reduces risk of being a case by a factor of 1/(60%/40%)/(40%/60%)=4/9 I.e. a 55% reduction.

        Running around crying the sky is falling over “breakthrough” cases is profoundly unhelpful. Even calling them breakthrough cases is playing to the hysterics because vaccines are not a perfect wall. These are just cases.

        (If you wish to be cynical, they are a Maginot line and some attacks will go round them)

        Those MA numbers do look very low for efficacy compared to UK numbers….

        1. Cuibono

          But this misses the critical issues at stake!
          Should we drop NPIs like masking indoors like CDC siad we should?
          DO vaccine passports really work to keep everyone safe?

          1. R

            Agreed, it would be better to focus on measures to improve impact of vaccines, given they are not perfect.

            I am not the CDC but I would suggest:
            – keep the masks
            – do not introduce vaccine passports. They are fundamentally discriminatory. They are a literal Apartheid.

            If circumstances require a mandatory reduction in social mixing, then all should be equal before the law and the socialising knob should be turned down for all.
            Public health should be a collective endeavour. Why should vaccinated people get to impose risks on society given the vaccines are NOT sterilising?

            If I were not choosing vaccination (illness, fear, cussedness, expense, immortality of youth), I would be confirmed in my choice and righteously angry with it if excluded from society by vaccine passports. And if young, more likely to go underground parties or host private events because of it. Or buy a fake certificate.

            Hell, I have seen a group of vaccinated middle class school mums pretend to scan in at a venue in the UK (to order soft drinks on a terrace outside a restaurant overlooking children’s play activity). Doctors, public officials, lawyers….

    2. Acacia

      In light of the fact that the current vaccines are non-sterilizing and that herd immunity doesn’t appear to be a realistic endpoint (note: I’m just a layman here, noting these limitations that have been identified by more expert contributors to the NC forum), I can’t help but wonder if vaccine mandates, passports, etc., are really going to be effective.

      1. Lee

        California purports to have a vaccine verification system utilizing a QR code one can download to one’s smart phone. I just attempted to get mine. The system verified that I was eligible but then presented me with a lengthy set of instructions and system requirements, including something about having to have Google Pay. I said, phk it, and gave up.

        1. juno mas

          Hmm. I have the California Covid passport. (I also have the original paper vaccination card in a clear holder.) I got the phone (QR Code) passport the first week they were available and had no problems downloading it. It was free, no cost.

          I haven’t had to use the passport, since I rarely attend large public venues.

      2. XXYY

        I think “vaccine passports” have a number of harmful effects:

        (o) Making it “OK” for groups of people to do things that would otherwise be considered too dangerous.

        (o) Spawning a fake certificate industry that will make the whole notion of certificates suspect.

        (o) Creating a two-tier society where one tier has privileges and rights that the other doesn’t.

        (o) Exacerbating the pernicious “it’s not my problem” mindset among certain of the vaccinated.

        I don’t see a lot to like here.

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          “Spawning a fake certificate industry”

          In socialist Paris, the going rate appears to be about 250 euro:

          In capitalist Moscow, the free market has driven prices lower (this article is a bit dated, but my freshest info indicates 8000 rubles = 100 euros buys you an official QR code):

          And not “some Russians”, but a lot of Russians. IMHO.

          As usual, “caveat emptor”.

    3. Mikel

      Everybody is supposed to be doing this for the benefit of society, but all these institutions – mandating this and mandating that – want no responsibility if anything goes wrong…they expect to have zero responsibility to the society.

    4. Mikel

      Did the 1905 Supreme Court say that no instiution shall bear any responsibility if anything goes wrong?

      A lot of one way respsonsibility and risk-taking going on here….

    5. zagonostra

      Ok, “reasonable regulation.” Is it reasonable to shut down an economy including scheduled medical procedures for sick people for a virus that has a +95% recovery rate?

      You support mandating vaccinations. Well fine and dandy, at one time the Supreme court thought it was okay to sterilize people because they had the characteristics that were not in society’s interest.

      This is a very slippery slope, please see Buck v. Bell below. And remember who the accused at the Nuremberg trial referring to where they got their inspiration for the horrific medical experiments.

  3. zagonostra

    >NPR’s Brilliant Self-Own TK News. Matt Taibbi.

    NPR sucks and is unlistenable, so people are going elsewhere. People like Shapiro are running their strategy in reverse and making fortunes doing it. One of these professional analysts has to figure this one out eventually, right?

    Well it depends on what the function of NPR is. If it’s to prop up what Marxist call the “ruling Ideas” that justify the allocation of a nations wealth, than they will stay the course.

    News outlets like NPR and DN! with Amy Goodman, don’t feel the same as they did when I used to watch them. I remember watching the Mcneil/Leher news hour and feeling that the presentation was balanced. That PBS program has changed as well and it’s not part of my news diet anymore. How much my abandoning these programs is due to my evolving view of the world and how much is the programs failing to present news that helps explain the events of the world, I don’t know.

    What Taibbi’s article underscores is that NPR and like programs are not providing news/information that syncs up with lived experience/observations but rather provides a narrowed view of the world that comes from the lens of the ruling class/elites.

    1. Toshiro_Mifune

      My parents listened to NPR when I was a kid in the 70s/80s and I continued listening as an adult. The NPR of those years was a very different place from what it became in the 00’s to now. For most of the 70s/80s/90s it could be relied upon as a ‘New Deal Democrat’ voice/perspective on the news/culture/etc. As the 90s went on many of those voices got older and started to retire.
      Sometime in the late 90s (I think it was `98) NPR got a new CEO. I remember at the time it caused some controversy as the CEO was coming from either Voice of America or Radio Free Europe and there were a lot of “He’s a propogandist” declarations. I honestly only half paid attention to it at the time but looking back now, that was about when NPR slowly started to change. It shifted from that New Deal perspective to a Neo-Liberal one.
      As the 00’s wore on I listened less and less and even before Trump I had largely bailed on NPR/NYC but Trump really made it just completely unlistenable.

      1. Carla

        “looking back now [to the late 90s], that was about when NPR slowly started to change. It shifted from that New Deal perspective to a Neo-Liberal one.”

        NPR was just following the Democrat party down the yellow brick road to where they both are now.

        1. airgap

          NPR for me started its downhill slide with the firing of Bob Edwards back in the 90s. His soothing baritone consumed along with my warm mug of coffee while listening to Morning Edition was the way I managed my forty five minute commute five days a week.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I know Reagan, but my memory is much of the Clinton coverage was skewed towards right wing stories even before they went full worship of Shrub in 2001. I don’t think the early 90’s were that bad, and ’96 wasn’t. Memory is STONKS became front a day center of economic reporting.

      3. upstater

        I resigned from 20+ years of NPR listening and contributing back in winter 2003. That odious Scott Simon gave a lengthy opinion piece on the necessity of the Iraq invasion. I have not contributed a penny since then. After that my listening asymtopically approached zero by the time of the GFC, but occasionally I’d listen. But it has become unbearable. It’s like CNN or MSNBC without the video and commercials.

        1. KLG

          I was listening when the little warmonger gave his speech. Turned me off forever, too. The only good reason to listen to Scott Simon in the first place was Daniel Schorr.

    2. Lee

      We have a local alternative, KPFA, which can be streamed. Voices from the left as well as music you will not generally hear elsewhere. Three of my favorites in the latter category: Blues by the Bay on Saturdays, and on Sundays, Across the Great Divide, and Americas Back 40 featuring “hicks from coast to coast.” These shows are archived.

      And yes, NPR programming has become insufferable with few exceptions, mostly a few holdovers from bygone times. For me, a significant indicator of the internal rot and downhill trajectory in the “public non-profit” broadcasting sector was how shabbily Garrison Keillor was treated by MPR and then his replacement with a show I found as appealing as fingernails scraping a chalkboard, run by whoever that other guy was. Then there’s all the television programming featuring the trials and tribulations of UK royals and the obscenely privileged. Finally there are the commercials, which give ample evidence as to their target demographic.

      1. zagonostra

        Thanks for link, it’s good to have someone cue up music for you instead of a Ytube algorithm.

      2. chuck roast

        I liked their thank you’s.

        And thank you to:
        Mr. & Mrs. Richie Rich
        Mrs. Farquar Fauntleroy III
        The Mr. & Mrs. Hyden The Cash Foundation
        The Aldrich, Aldrich & Aldrich Charitable Trust
        …and deep pocketed viewers everywhere.

        1. jhallc

          Don’t forget…the Law firm of “Dewey, Cheatham & Howe”

          “Car Talk” – Probably the last thing I listened to on NPR.

  4. Samuel Conner

    The recent news flow, and IM Doc’s report on 7/20, suggests that the COVID plan of TPTB, to the extent that there is one, is basically to vaccinate as many as possible and let the virus run freely in the population as life returns to a semblance of pre-pandemic normal.

    On the bright side, if there is ever a Federal Job Guarantee, there will be loads of needed work caring for incapacitated long COVID sufferers. That and the reduction in the size of the “able to work” workforce, might get us to full employment.

  5. fresno dan

    Facebook cracks down on discussing ‘hoes’ in gardening group NY Post
    How many discussions about Dick Nixon deleted?
    Or discussions about the Great Tit
    We will never actually know how many things Facebook has inanely deleted
    Because, having a HUMAN review the posts would be the greatest obscenity to the great Zuck possible – costing him money…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Facebook knows what they are doing. After all, it is an established fact that most gardeners are sex maniacs. And don’t think that when conversations have shifted over to this subject on NC, that I have not noticed the use of all those double entendres. Things like going out and getting dirty, plowing some furroughs and rooting around in the bushes. We all know what is meant and you have been noticed!

        1. Mildred Montana

          Thanks Facebook—and commenters—for my morning chuckles.

          When asked to use the word “horticulture” in a sentence a wit replied, “You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think.” (Hope this doesn’t get censored as being sexist.)

          Anyway, I now know why corporate executives get the big bucks. After presumably days of intensive meetings, those at Facebook came up with a master-stroke: Have an *actual human being* review the questionable posts. What an idea! How innovative! Cutting-edge, meet Facebook.

          As fresno dan alludes to, I just hope being forced to employ more salaried flesh-and-blood doesn’t blow up Facebook’s profit margins.

          1. tegnost

            typically it’s “lead a horticulture” and I recall it emblazoned on t shirts back in the glory days of seattle landscaping…a time that has long passed….

      1. fresno dan

        some might say gardners are always sticking their long tools into wet holes to plant their seed….but not me.

        1. HotFlash

          How guy-like! Women lovingly cover seeds with fertile soil, feed, nurture, and shield them from harm from tender, defenseless seedings to glorious maturity. Then eat them.

    2. griffen

      Grown men pretty much all over groan at the thought of text messaging getting the same treatment.

      And to clarify, the ones behaving like their still in young 20s!

    3. Mikel

      Any language that is alive is going to come up with new words and phrases to describe controversial things.
      Algorithms are going to be playing more whack-a-mole than a non-sterilizing vaccine on virus variants.

      In the meantime, there is nothing they aren’t willing to let people suffer for fantasies about their machines.

    4. petal

      hahaha thanks to you guys I have weird feelings now about going over to work in my garden…everything I do there, my brain will be thinking in double entendres! sigh.

    5. Maritimer

      Eaven yrs ago, I wandered yf myspeling cud curcumvent censoarship. Thus wi may bi yntering a Nuw Ayge Of Ylitaracy.

      In more literate news, the word “turd” is now verboten at my FB Plumbers’ Group.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘The videos shared on Chinese social media about the floodings in Henan following the heavy rain really show the severity of the situation.’

    There is a more disturbing video showing train passengers trapped in a train with the water rising to their chests. Through the windows you can see water rushing even higher outside. After, you see some gutsy rescuers manage to pull a woman to safety but it looked a near run thing- (3:15 mins)

  7. GroundZeroAndLovinIt

    This from the Atlantic:

    Post Vaccination Covid Infections Come In Two Flavors

    I hoisted this from Mike the Mad Biologist’s site. This article kind of blows my mind. It’s very “rah rah” vaccine. It talks about how post vaccination Covid breakthroughs are rare but are also resulting in either mild or asymptomatic Covid cases. The framing is, “this is another great reason to get the vaccine.” At the close, the author finally admits that maybe it would be nice to know more about whether vaccinated people with asymptomatic Covid can spread Covid.

    Yeah. Maybe that would be nice. But you’d have to ask some other country with functioning public health Covid testing and tracking that doesn’t ignore metrics they don’t like.

    1. Acacia

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought(?) we can already say that vaccinated people with asymptomatic Covid can still spread Covid. Or, perhaps we don’t yet have hard data, because the current policy seems to be that breakthrough cases are mostly ignored?

    2. flora

      From the Cleveland Clinic. (note they do not come right out and say ‘yes’, they waffle around the question, imo. ):

      Can fully vaccinated people still transmit the virus to others, including other vaccinated people?

      While it is possible, Dr. Cardona says that the ability to transmit COVID-19 may occur at a lower rate. She adds that this could also be a reality for people who don’t have a good immune response to vaccines.

      1. antidlc

        And here is what Johns Hopkins has to say:
        March 9, 2021:

        We do not yet know whether individuals who are fully vaccinated can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to other individuals, although the risk is almost certainly lower than for unvaccinated persons
        To limit transmission as much as possible, mask wearing remains critical, even for those who are fully vaccinated until community transmission decreases to low levels and a high proportion of people are vaccinated
        Studies to better understand the potential for transmission by those who are fully vaccinated are underway, but they will take time to complete

        1. antidlc

          April 8, 2021
          New Data on COVID-19 Transmission by Vaccinated Individuals

          In a recent White House press briefing, CDC director Rochelle Walensky cited new data indicating that the two-dose regimen of COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections.

          What does this mean, exactly? And what might data like this suggest for public health guidance going forward? Amesh Adalja, MD, of the Center for Health Security, answers a few questions about our evolving understanding of immunity and COVID vaccines.
          Can we say with any degree of certainty that vaccinated people are unlikely to spread COVID to unvaccinated individuals?

          The emerging data confirms what many of us thought would be the case—that not only do the vaccines stop symptomatic COVID, but they also make it highly unlikely that someone can even be infected at all.

          I think the preponderance of the evidence supports the fact that vaccinated individuals are not able to spread the virus.

        2. flora

          JH in March was cautiously optimistic. The CDC’s Walensky was absolute in her conviction in late March.:

          “Vaccinated people do not carry the virus — they don’t get sick,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday. That’s “not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.”

          New data is coming in all the time. That’s understandable. I wonder if the US gov medical estab is familiar with this quote, attributed to Keynes:

          When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

      2. antidlc

        “While it is possible, Dr. Cardona says that the ability to transmit COVID-19 may occur at a lower rate. ”

        **MAY occur**

        or it MAY NOT, right?

        1. HotFlash

          I want an RCT on that, stat! Interesting thought experiment: how do you design a trial for that, let alone an ethical one?

      3. GroundZeroAndLovinIt

        The Atlantic article on Covid breakthrough actually closes with this:

        Eventually, we’ll have the bandwidth to turn our attention to halting transmission and infection more comprehensively. Then, we’ll pull asymptomatic breakthroughs back into the conversation, with more data to guide our next move.

        Halting transmission and infection framed as a “someday” pipe dream — contingent on having the “bandwidth” to do it, using asymptomatic Covid breakthrough data (which, ahem, the CDC is not collecting). I’m just a layperson, but halting transmission and infection seems like it should be a priority.

        I’m pretty sure when the CDC said “you are protected” if you get a vaccine, it convinced people that they won’t get it OR transmit it. You sold people a slogan and told them to drop any precautions. So what do you do when you have to try and “nuance” that message later?

        I used to do PR for a living so I kind of have a morbid fascination with “bad messaging” and how so many PMC types think “better messaging” actually fixes things. But hey, I’m all for bringing asymptomatic Covid back into the conversation. You know, someday, if the folks at CDC get bored and have nothing better to do.

        1. antidlc

          “I’m pretty sure when the CDC said “you are protected” if you get a vaccine, it convinced people that they won’t get it OR transmit it. You sold people a slogan and told them to drop any precautions. So what do you do when you have to try and “nuance” that message later? ”

          I agree with you. The CDC has totally messed this up. (I”d use a different term, but family blog, you know.)

          1. Gc54

            Why was it too confusing for the CDC to say “once vaccinated you are highly unlikely to need hospitalization if you get covid”?

            1. flora

              Can we get a percentage figure for “highly unlikely” ? As I said above, new data is still coming in. We are still parsing the data.

            2. HotFlash

              Because they believed the Pharma sales pitch? I would love to see Dr. Fauci’s stock portfolio.

            3. Maritimer

              “may”, “supposedly” and “unlikely” have been used here by the Expert Vaccine Pushers. Trust the hazy, murky, maybe Science.

      4. antidlc

        From the CDC: Updates as of July 16, 2021

        Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.

        Link to “body of evidence”:

        A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Studies are underway to learn more about the benefits of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. However, the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.

        1. Jen

          Um…if they aren’t collecting data on cases in fully vaccinated people how exactly do they know that?

          Lemmy Caution’s link above had 43% of new cases in MA coming from fully vaccinated, so I guess you could technically say that since 43% is less than 57%, the fully vaxxed are “less likely.”

          But whoopsie, further down in the article, in P-town (Cape Cod tourist trap) specifically “the vast majority” of new cases were fully vaxxed.

          I just keep imagining a crowd of over credentialed morons running around the CDC trying to understand why real life does not bend to the “reality” depicted in their powerpoint slides.

          I’m going to borrow a line from stonekettle station: these [family blogging] people.

          1. pasha

            dunno if cape cod is representative of the state. in my experience, provincetown is one continuous party. you could catch a lot of things there….

      5. jhallc

        It seems to me that highly vaccinated states/countries are starting to see the percentage of vaccinated breakthrough approach the percent vaccinated. It seems highly unlikely that all these vaccinated breakthrough folks are hanging out with just unvaccinated “Transmissive” folks. Common sense tells me that there is a fair amount of transmission going on from vaccinated folks to one another. The higher viral load associated with the Delta variant may be one reason we are seeing this now as opposed to the earlier studies done by the pharmaceutical companies. The CDC is just behind the curve again.

        On another note, the food pantry I work for has just moved its distribution back inside the building after more than a year of being outside. The policy was going to be masks only required if unvaccinated per CDC guidelines. Thanks to the links and comments I’ve read here at NC I was able to make a case for all volunteers and clients to be masked. I also was able to get them to install mitigation measures (HEPA filters) and increase room ventilation. Thanks

  8. The Rev Kev

    “NYPD cop who ‘MacGyvered’ a potato chip bag and duct tape into a bandage to save stabbing victim says it was the first time he had tried the plan”

    Full credit to that NYPD cop with pulling off this save with a ‘MacGyver’. This sounds like it might have been what was known as a “sucking chest wound”. Back during the Vietnam war, if a soldier was hit in the chest and received this sort of wound, his mates would tear the plastic off a bandage, put it over the wound, and then taped it over until he could be medevaced by helicopter. Vietnam vets at the time had a laconic saying that ‘A “sucking chest wound” is nature’s way of telling you to slow down’ but the fact that that cop was able to pull off a similar stunt after some training may show ‘cultural diffusion’ at work as this technique spread back home.

    Aaaand since MacGyver was mentioned – this character was played by Richard Dean Anderson who then went on to star in the TV series Stargate SG-1. In season 1, co-star Amanda Tapping set him up for a prank during filming of an episode- (36 secs)

        1. hunkerdown

          “Oh, how you can get stucco.” -Groucho Marx

          Today’s pop-culture MacGyver type seems to be the LockPickingLawyer, a business litigator who retired to pursue a career in the security industry and smash best records in locksport. The more “love of system” types have lined up orderly behind the futurists like Musk.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Homeland Security Has Warning For South Florida Boaters Planning To Take Part In Flotilla To Cuba”

    ‘DHS said in the advisory that any boater intending to enter Cuban territorial waters must get permission from the U.S. Coast Guard. Violators risk facing fines of $25,000 a day and 10 years in prison, the advisory said.’

    I would have thought that that was up to the Cuban coast guard force to determine.

    1. RMO

      “Thousands of Cubans took to the streets Sunday, July 11th, to protest limited access to COVID-19 vaccines and basic goods. The country is going through its worst economic crisis in decades.”

      So… citizens from the country that put the embargo on Cuba that is the reason for “lack of basic goods” and the “economic crisis” and which has ten times the Covid death rate are going to help the citizens of Cuba by taking a boat trip? Yeah, that makes sense. Oh, and an associated story is about people remembering cases of torture under the current government. Good thing the US can take the moral high ground there having never condoned torture in any form – and certainly not torture in Cuba as Guantanamo Bay is of course a veritable luxury resort /s

  10. Matthew G. Saroff

    I have to disagree with Matt Taibbi, though each of his characterizations of NPR are generally true.

    NPR did a story on the Daily Wire with a subtext that they, and other right wing websites that they mention in passing, are taking views and engagement from legitimate news sources.

    Taibbi correctly notes that this is self absorbed whining from a media outlet whose identity is self absorbed whining, but he misses the bigger point, that the engagement numbers from The Daily Wire, Breitbart, etc. are the product of deliberate fraud by the websites with the active support of high officials in Facebook, particularly Facebook’s head of global public policy Joel Kaplan, who was a former Bush administration official, a participant in the “Brooks Brothers Riot” at the Miami-Dade vote count in 2000, and a close confidant of Mark Zuckerberg.

    The web version of the story, but not the audio, has quotes from Judd Legum about how the right wing sites are basically eating local news site’s lunch, and this quote is critical, because Legum has for years documented the fraud, and the extreme and unusual efforts by Kaplan to protect these sites.

    It would have been impossible for the reporter, Miles Parks, to not hear these allegations in an interview with Legum, and one can only conclude that the he, or more senior folks deliberately decided to ignore what should have been the story lead.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Covid: Anger as half of Australians in lockdown again”

    You can bet that there is but the media keep on trying to make this all about vaccines which is not the real story at all. The State Premiers are p***** with the NSW Premier for not locking down and trying to keep her economy going. That strategy was never going to work with last year’s early version of this virus but with the Delta variant, it blew up spectaculary in her face – and took half of Australia with it. Two twin brothers who were removalists knew that they were infected but went from NSW to the State of Victoria and South Australia anyway. Now both those States are dealing with outbreaks caused by those two and are locked down and Western Australia has cut itself off from the eastern States. It will be weeks putting down those outbreaks cause by these two boofheads. And it turned out that they infected their 50 year old mother who just died of it and their father is infected now as well. Meanwhile the NSW Premier is lying her face off and saying maybe they can open up by the end of this month. They will be lucky if they can open up by the end of September. Not much love for her by the other State Premiers going by comments that they have made. Meanwhile Scotty from Marketing is trying to dodge any blame as usual and trying to get a medical board to advise that anybody can use the AstraZeneca vaccine but that board does not sound impressed with Scotty’s medical qualifications.

      1. Chris

        Nah, stay where you are, Basil. Our borders are closed, and house prices have gone up enough already :-)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It seems to me that there has been a very determined policy to push the news narrative in the US and Europe away from questioning why some countries have kept the virus at bay and saved their economies to the narrative of ‘why is Oz/NZ/SK/Japan/Taiwan so slow and incompetent with getting everyone vaccinated, don’t they know this is the solution to the problem?

      Its hard not to see a little hypocritical shadenfreude at work now some are now facing outbreaks, ignoring the fact that this is primarily due to the West (UK and US in particular) failing to stop Delta spreading.

    1. Carolinian

      And here’s another from that other Cockburn (Patrick’s brother).

      It should come as no surprise therefore that, just as American forces exit Afghanistan, leaving those decaying helicopters and undrivable trucks as memorials, calls from the defense lobby for a prompt boost of, yes, 5 percent in defense spending are growing louder. Although the Russian bear, albeit undeniably mangy compared with the departed ever-reliably threatening USSR, is still pressed into service for old times’ sake, the People’s Republic of China has now stepped forward in a starring role as a foe guaranteed to endure for many budget cycles to come. As a foretaste, the US Navy has sold the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, reminiscent in some ways of the recently departed Overseas Contingency Operations boondoggle, a package of demands for extra spending to thwart the Middle Kingdom’s designs in the Pacific Ocean amounting to at least $27 billion over the next five years.

      The new China threat (at least they don’t call it Yellow Peril) explained.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “UK sets collision course with EU under plans to redraw Brexit deal”

    I don’t think that Boris has an appreciation of how treaties work. Typically, you have negotiations, reach an agreement, and then sign a treaty laying out your agreements. Boris seems to be under the impression that you sign a treaty, then you start negotiating to fix the bits that you agreed to but were never actually going to do at all. I believe that this is called “bad faith” negotiating. Do it often enough and you end up with having a reputation of being ‘agreement-incapable’ as our Russian cousins would term it.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, this has been brewing for months, the only question is when they would pull the rug out. Predictably, they’ve done it during the holiday period when all the reporters with any knowledge of whats going on is lying on a beach.

      The EU will rage at this bad faith, and of course it will be noted by the diplomatic corps in countries all over the world, but the Tories don’t care so long as the media back them up in blaming the Irish, the French, the Germans, or whoever it is they want.

      The reality is that they signed a deal with no intention of standing by it, and they are now breaking it. I hate to talk about ‘norms’, but abiding by signed international agreements is a ‘norm’ if ever there is one in international affairs. There is no going back from something like this.

  13. rivegauche

    RE Links 7/20, photos U.S. National Parks
    That photo from the Congaree National Park is nearly identical to mine, taken several years ago on January 2nd. A different look and feel to mine, taken in the dead of winter when temps had been very low for a while. I have many other photos of the breathtaking park — some taken while paddling the dark, still, fragrant waters of the swamp “lake”.

  14. Dr. John Carpenter

    I figured we’d have to wait a little longer for the “Oh noes! Biden Gaffes are upsetting the donors!” sorry, if we ever heard it, mostly because they don’t allow him to speak much. But, as this money quote points out “You can only keep the leash so tight.” That some concerned folks are describing his words as “Trumpy” is yet another “Who could have seen it coming???” moment from an administration full of them.

  15. QuicksilverMessenger

    Re: the J&J vaccine and whether it is effective against the Delta. I think it doesn’t help laypeople like me and many others when the article headlines and studies themselves say are full of “may” be less effective against the Delta, and “may” need a booster. And further about this particular study that “the JJ vaccine findings came from blood samples in a laboratory, and “may” not reflect the vaccine’s performance in the real world”.
    Again with the “mays”

  16. Pat

    I am increasingly appalled by the callous and sociopathic response to the numerous health crisis we have in this country.
    The road blocks being put before the incredibly small Purdue settlement might be encouraging if I thought it would really result in free treatment, rehabilitation and yes living stipends for everyone they addicted and their families. Yes it would and should leave the Sacklers with nothing and would strip Purdue of profits for decades, but that is merely the settlement Americans deserve and will never see. No we will get something that might cause a twinge of pain for the principals involved in this atrocity, but will not begin to undo the damage or even truly hurt the return on investment this deception engendered.

    How will the very possible long term damage from the experimental vaccines especially mRNA vaccines be addressed. We know the pharmaceutical companies won’t have to do diddly, but America’s governmental record of caring for the victims of their avarice and power plays is not comforting.
    What about long term Covid? In a country where healthcare has become a rarity for the financial companies running medical services I am increasingly flashing on the responses to manufacturers being encouraged to move their operations out of the country and the lack of help and pointless advice to those whose jobs were taken away. We are going to be on our own with few and no adequate options.
    And there there are all the giant billboard sized signs that our so-called leaders see both financial losses with acting in a realistic manner to an endemic AND all the financial advantages to allowing the disease to run rampant. They believe it has been blunted enough it won’t kill them, and the structures meant to support us against this have been so corrupted they not only refuse to do their job to force the priority change, they instead advance the agenda designed to hobble and harm us and hold us hostage to their expensive half measures. It is almost as if faux healthcare is the new MIC.

    Not everyone is going quietly, but too many are drinking the koolaid.

    I weep for both us, and for the world, because our actions do not take place in a vacuum.

  17. Cuibono

    Those China flood videos lead one to believe 14 dead might be an undercount
    either that or they are really good at breath holding

  18. Medbh

    I don’t think 80% will do it anymore.

    The contrast between the covid reporting in the US versus overseas is wild. Calling the US news propaganda is not just hyperbole. I haven’t seen anything like this article reported in mainstream US media.

    Scotland infections rising 85%

    “With the Alpha (Kent) strain – estimated to be 50% more transmissible – coverage would have had to reach around 90%, but the Delta variant pushes herd immunity through vaccination effectively out of reach.

    Even if the UK was only using the Pfizer vaccine, 100% of the total population – not just adults – would have to be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity through vaccination alone.”

  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    I have to rush back to work, so I can’t read the “Facebook cracks down on discussing hoes in Garden Group” article.

    In the minute I have left, I will just bet that the FaceBook Monitors decided that ‘hoe’ was the same as ho’, the allegedly urban-black-culture term of misogynistic contempt and abuse.

    If that is what happened, and that Garden Group doesn’t want to run around the hamster wheel trying to get Facebook to let it talk about hoes again, perhaps it should rename them as gardenhoes for the sake of the Group. And see if the word ‘gardenhoes’ gets past the censor.

  20. dns

    The Spanish island that communicates by whistle

    there is a terrifically funny heist movie directed by the great romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu taking place in the aforementioned island and using the whistle dialect as its leitmotif.

  21. Nick Crowley

    Climate crisis location options:
    I believe the fires/drought will continue and make loads of places very rough to live or not livable at all. Living by a coast would probably give you a longer runway of survival as they could take longer to become problems due to sea level rise. Also living near a fresh water source would be beneficial either along the coast or inland, maybe Idaho or Montana/Canada border. Clear cut the surrounding forest of said body of water and plant crops instead? Being in Hawaii, we have plenty of great land for farming which we don’t use and instead ship in the majority of our consumables. In a climate crisis world, the shipping would most likely stop, forcing us to farm on this great land. Also, we have one of the rarest of climates due to our very high volcanos being in a tropical zone. It’s cold-summer Mediterranean. If sea levels rise we push up into that area which would change the climate into a warm tropical/Mediterranean. Good farming and high survival chances. Also, I’m pretty sure the land they find in “Waterworld” is the upper parts of Hawaiian Volcanos. The rest of the world will be in a “Postman” like scenario. Out of the Kevin Costner futures, I’ll take the water one.

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