2:00PM Water Cooler 8/23/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

More soon. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

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At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching….

Vaccination by region:

Back up in the South.

51.5% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, breaking the psychological 51% barrier. Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

I would say we’ve moved off the vertical a bit, conforming to the drop in “Rapid Risers” and the drop in positivity. The South begins to slow, but other regions still rise. Still lots of momentum. As far as reaching the peak of January 8, 2021, with 295,257 cases per day … I’m not that pessimistic (modulo a new variant brought into the country by our ridiculously lax policies on international quarantines). What we might call, after Everest, the “First Step” (November 25, 2019) with 178,466 looks in striking distance, especially if the case count purple line continues go near vertical. If things go on as they are, we should hit the first step just in time for Labor Day. But what do I know, I’m just a tape-watcher.

Covid cases top ten states: for the last four weeks (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):

California is Texas’s wingman. Meanwhile, Florida staggered ahead (and it’s probably worse than Florida’s data would seem to indicate) Meanwhile, Georgia and Lousiana, having diverged, have flattened.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report August 19, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

California, the South, the Acela Corridor all more pink. Kansas and Oklahoma more green, part of the general improvement of the Mississippi Valley. Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

Test positivity:

The South is now fiddling and diddling at more or less the same level, and the enormous drop in the West persists. Could be reporting problems.

Hospitalization (CDC): Dammit, this one’s gone dark. I wish CDC wouldn’t do this. Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

Yet more red states now, still in the South. Not good.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

Deaths on trend rising; nowhere near meriting an anti-triumphalist black line, being an order of magnitude less than there were at peak. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning.)

Covid cases worldwide:

Southeast Asia doing better, I presume because little-covered Indonesia is past a peak. US sphere of influence under the Monroe Doctrine not doing so well.

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“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

UPDATE A fascinating photo:

We have, of course, the halo around the President’s head, often achieved with a Presidential seal, but here with a chandelier. Then there is the shininess of the polished floor, which suggests to me that Biden is “walking on thin ice.” Then there is Biden’s shadow, clear and distinct, unlike those of the individuals in the press gaggle. The shadow could symbolize Biden’s dark side. It could also symbolize that Biden, unlike the gaggle, is fully dimensional, a rounded person. Or it could symbolize that “Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow,” a quote often attributed (no doubt wrongly) to Lincoln. There is also the angle at which the photo is taken: The photographer must have been kneeling or even crawling, which shows deference (although also the desire to do what it takes to get the shot).

UPDATE Grudging respect:

It’s not that Biden is a good President; it’s that he has aspects in which he is an improvement over the previous two, uh, three.

UPDATE “Getting out the right way” (1):

UPDATE “Getting out the right way” (2):

When Yglesias understands something….

UPDATE “Biden focuses on domestic agenda, even as hot spots flare up elsewhere” [Los Angeles Times]. “Every morning this week at 8:45, a newly established “war room” has convened at the White House, with about 20 staffers logging onto a Zoom call to coordinate messaging and deployment of critical resources. The operation has nothing to do with the crisis in Afghanistan — it’s about keeping President Biden’s big infrastructure push on track. ‘The No. 1 priority for our cabinet overall, from our perspective here, is to build support throughout the [August] recess process for the legislative agenda,’ said Neera Tanden, a senior advisor to the president who has overseen the war room since July. Tasked with building support for a $1.2-trillion bipartisan infrastructure measure and the Democrats’ $3.5-trillion budget proposal, Tanden is dispatching cabinet members to key states, monitoring lawmakers’ town halls and arranging hundreds of local TV interviews with administration officials.” • Oh, good.

Wasn’t it always?

Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE “Republican support for Mayor Byron Brown’s ‘Buffalo Party'” [WGRZ]. “Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, a lifetime Democrat, has signaled his willingness to accept Republican support for his write-in campaign against Democratic nominee India Walton in the Nov. 2 general election. And he’s got it. The independent nominating petition he turned in to the Erie County Board of Elections on Tuesday tells the tale: Among those gathering signatures last week in an effort to get Brown’s name on a ballot were suburban Republican Party officials, Conservatives, and at least one member of the region’s robust community of right-wing extremists. In fact, nearly one-third of the signature pages Brown turned in Tuesday were carried by members of right-leaning parties — most of them Republicans, most of them residing outside the city.” • Wow, I’d expect the state and national Democrats to come down on Brown like a ton of bricks. Party loyalty and all that.

Republican Funhouse

UPDATE “The Elephant in the Room Republicans carefully run for president, not knowing if the last one will, too.” [New York Magazine]. “The specter of Trump doesn’t just loom over the former South Carolina governor’s 2024 hopes. In conversations with over a dozen Republican activists and operatives, both in early states and nationally, everyone thought that there was a chance that the former president could run again and everyone had their own odds. Some thought it was unlikely, some thought it was likely but the one thing everyone agreed upon is that Trump’s final decision was impossible to predict and to plan for. One Republican close to a potential 2024 candidate compared it to ‘being hit by a meteor. There’s nothing you can do to control that.’… [T]he clear favorite right now for Trump’s mantle right now has yet to show up, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Republicans from across the party kvelled over DeSantis, who has consistently been second only to Trump in polling of Republican primary voters so far. Between his handling of COVID, his sparring with reporters, and his eagerness to embrace pet right-wing causes like critical race theory and trans athletes in school sports, DeSantis has become a star on the right and a fixture on Fox News. ‘The most popular presidential hopeful among the activist class,’ said one plugged-in Iowa Republican. While Republicans admired the ‘bulldog with a filter,’ they haven’t gotten to see him in person. With a re-election bid coming up in the perpetually purple state of Florida and the ever-watchful eye of Trump upon him, DeSantis has made clear that he is not traveling to early states in the foreseeable future.” • Hmm.

Obama Legacy


Pelosi’s Napa shindig ramming the point home, that masks are for little people…

Realignment and Legitimacy


Like the CIA’s intersectionality recruiting advertisement, a case study in the vacuity of woke rhetoric.

UPDATE “The precinct captain’s guide to protecting the ballot” [Alice Marshall, Medium]. “I think we can look forward to more Brooks Brother’s riots in the 2022 mid-terms, perhaps even in this year’s elections in Virginia, NJ, and California. Ideally the Democratic National Committee and all the state parties would be putting plans into place to prevent this. But, judging from the fact that Senate Democrats have failed to abolish the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation, they will take zero steps to protect the count. So now what? First do not worry about those things you cannot control, focus on what you can do. Above all, do NOT believe national leadership or even candidates when they tell you not to worry, they have that covered. Just make sure that YOUR precinct is organized to cope with a violent mob attempting to block the vote count. In my book I talk about procedures for election night, either you, the precinct captain, or someone reliable, goes to witness the vote count. Under normal circumstances merely sending a witness is enough to deter misconduct on the part any election officer unworthy of their office, and assure your party that the count was done properly. But we do not live in normal times. The best way to protect the ballot in our current time is the way the Filipinos did in the snap election, through people power. You need to recruit a large well disciplined crowd to calmly stand before the polling site while you send in a designated witness to watch the vote count. It will be necessary to train your volunteers, at the very minimum watch the deescalation videos on YouTube.” • For those who came in late, the Brooks Brothers riot was staged by Bush political operatives in election 2000 to stop the count in Miami. They succeeded. The beauty part is that all the operatives in the riot were well known to the political reporters covering present at the event. But no names were mentioned until after election 2000 was decided.

Stats Watch

National Activity Index: “July 2021 CFNAI Super Index Moving Average Index Improves” [Econintersect]. “This index is likely the best coincident indicator of the U.S. economy. A coincident indicator shows the current state of the economy. This month, three of the four broad categories improved The economy has slowed from its rate of growth in 2018 but now has moved above territory associated with recessions. The three-month moving average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) changed from +0.01 (originally reported as +0.06 last month) to +0.323.”

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Responses to OnlyFans are rather caustic. Remarkable to see this reaction from a Senator:

And on the house side:

Supply Chain: “A Supply Chain Leader Shares Their Secret Sauce” [Industry Week]. “In this industry, many competitors have sourced a large percentage of their spend with overseas, low-wage countries. And according to my contact, supply management at this company also was under pressure to do so, and they did. However, they never went full bore into this, and today less than 10% is sourced offshore. In fact, I was told that included in their sourcing vision is ‘no water!’—referring to overseas transportation. This type of policy is to be expected for a company placing a high value on supplier order fulfillment flexibility and active collaboration between buyers and the suppliers they are responsible for.”

Supply Chain: “Topology of International Supply Chain Networks: A Case Study Using Factset Revere Datasets” (PDF) [IEEXplore]. “The extended network analysis of interfirm networks undertaken in this work provided several interesting results. In terms of the basic topology, we observed that the global as well as the ten country-specific networks considered are all scale-free, even though their scale-free exponents ranged from 1.0 – 2.0, rather than the range of 2.0 – 3.0 observed in most other real world networks. The networks were also relatively sparse, and displayed some small-world properties. Then we identified the firms which were the most central in each country-networks, based on a number of centrality measures. It was found that these were, predictably, quite often large multi-national corporates and government bodies…. We used the Louvian method for community clustering, and found that there were 12 primary communities in the global network which had number of nodes more than 2000…. There were also other interesting features in the community structure. For example, The analysis uncovered a dense cluster among Japanese and Chinese firms (community 7). This contrasts with the trading relationships between US and China, or US and Japan. Although US and China, the two largest economies have the largest numbers of firms in the dataset, no cluster emerged with a predominant presence of firms of these two countries. Conversely to the structure of Japan-China business relationships, US and Chinese firms do not seem to form dense Sino-American business cliques.”

Labor Market: “Court rules California gig worker initiative is unconstitutional” [Reuters]. “A 2020 ballot measure that exempted ride-share and food delivery drivers from a state labor law is unconstitutional, a California judge ruled on Friday, as it infringes on the legislature’s power to set workplace standards…. ‘It limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law’, making the entire measure unenforceable, the judge wrote.” • $200 million down the tubes. That’s a damn shame.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 29 Extreme Fear (previous close: 23 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 49 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 19 at 5:04pm. Surely not Afghanistan?

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil prices have averaged lower” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187 (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

Health Care

“Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID Vaccine Gets Full Approval From The FDA” [NPR]. “The Food and Drug Administration has formally approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The widely anticipated decision replaces the emergency use authorization granted by the agency last December… That authorization does not extend to children under the age of 12. The FDA acted Monday without convening a customary public meeting of expert advisers to vet information about the vaccine and make recommendations to the regulator. As part of the approval process, the vaccine also got a brand name: Comirnaty. The FDA says that’s pronounced ‘koe-mir’-na-tee.'” • There was no public meeting, and there was no new data available for public review. FDA gave approval based on the data supplementing Pfizer’s application for an EUA. Just to be clear on the ethics, we’ve run a gigantic experiment on the American people without their informed consent, and are now going to mandate they be vaccinated not based on data but on the absence of data showing harm — which, given what the CDC has become — may not have been collected or even exist — plus a consensus of the general will in the PMC hive mind. They had better be right, is all I can say.

“Talking to a vaccine-hesitant person? Do these 8 things” [Becker’s Hospital Review]. “As the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S. and COVID-19 hospitalizations rise among unvaccinated Americans, healthcare communication professionals are still perfecting their efforts to address concerns among the vaccine-hesitant population.” No kidding, and almost two years in. More: “#3 Abandon your biases. You’ll have a more productive conversation if you don’t make assumptions about someone’s reasons for not getting vaccinated. #4 Don’t be disrespectful. Vaccine-hesitant Americans won’t change their minds after patronizing lectures or beratement.” • “Beratement” seems not to be a word. But perhaps it is the word we need now.

The same message:

By contrast to the above two links, this gem of scientific communication must have made the political appointees at FDA wet themselves:

1) The message is that those who have already taken Ivermectin have reduced themselves to the status of animals in the eyes of their neighbors, which is natural, since 2) Bubbas (“y’all”) are practically animals already. Right? 3) “Stop it” reinforces the coercive power of a professional class that needs to earn the right to coerce, and hasn’t. 4) The Tweet is based on a lie: Ivermectin is approved for human use in the United States by the FDA, and a doctor can issue scrip for off-label use. 5) Ivermectin has been used by billions of humans worldwide for decades and has an excellent safety profile. 6) If Ivermectin or other repurposed drugs decrease vaccination uptake, presumably the evidence-based medicine crowd a study to show it. Where is it? 7) I personally know vaccinated people who also take Ivermectin, which is rational, because of breakthrough infections. The whole equation of Ivermectin with “horse paste,” now virulently viral in even the best of the PMC, makes me want to hurl. I’m not into mocking the medical choices of desperate people, especially when Ivermectin made for humans is cheap and harmless. One might almost assume that the real issue here is a challenge to the PMC’s class power, rather than any medical issue. If an off-label treatment works — and the jury is very much still out — is that so very bad? If the off-label treatment induces the placebo effect, would that so very bad? It will be interesting to see if the FDA modifies this message, or doubles down. I’m long stupid on this one. (To be crystal clear, I myself am fully vaccinated, and support vaccination as a matter of public policy. I would like it if the public health establishment retained sufficient credibility to maintain that public policy.)

“Optional Medicines for the Treatment of COVID-19” [FLCCC Alliance]. “Recently added to our I-MASK+ and MATH+ protocols: Fluvoxamine: 50 mg PO twice daily for 10–14 days. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that activates sigma-1 receptors decreasing cytokine production. Two randomized controls trials have found decreased risk of hospitalization and time to clinical recovery. Larger trials are ongoing.” • When Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wrote his piece on Fluvoxamine, he mentioned unnamed “claques of advocates” “who have been pushing the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine or the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin.” Surely, therefore, he could not have meant the FLCCC, since they have added Fluvoxamine to their protocols.

“Opinion: As an aerosol scientist, I know schools need masks, HEPA filters and outdoor lunches:” [The Denver Post]. “The school year is beginning across Colorado while the Delta variant of COVID is racing through children at higher rates than at any previous time. Although we are all bone-tired of the pandemic, we need to take stronger measures to protect our unvaccinated kids…. To make that happen, all Colorado schools need to follow the near-unanimous advice from state, regional, and national public health agencies and medical groups to mandate indoor mask-wearing, install more portable HEPA filters, and institute safer lunchtime procedures to slow COVID transmission…. High rates of ventilation and portable HEPA filters clean viruses from the air, reducing build-up.” • The CDC gets partial credit for pushing masks indoors. It has not pushed HEPA filters, lunchtime procedures, or ventilation with anything like the same intensity (one might speculate because they would have to accept the aerosol transmission paradigm, which they refused to do). While I am not aware of a national study on school ventilation procedures, CDC’s erasure of methods to prevent airborne transmission does not bode well for school re-opening, and such measures would have had to be put in place over the summer in any case.

The Biosphere

It’s not that the new normal is new; it’s that it’s normal:


Where’s Obama when we need him:

[slaps forehead] I forgot! He’s running his campaign to get Black folks vaccinated!

Sports Desk

“What if Olympic athletes went back to competing naked?” [BBC]. “If nudity was made a permanent staple of the Olympics, then over time, it could be that society would revert back to the Greek tradition of viewing athletic nudity through a lens of heroism and celebration. But that certainly would not happen overnight, Barcan says. In the meantime, for many athletes, the emotional energy required to tune out the cultural baggage and societal judgement surrounding nudity would probably take a toll on performance. Under these constraints, the winners of the first nude summer Olympics could wind up being not those with the greatest athletic prowess, but those with the strongest ability to channel the ancient Greek mindset.” • Hmm. Maybe we could have them compete naked, and green screen clothes for countries that are modest? The whole Simone Biles saga makes me wonder if we’ve reached the point of diminishing returns on “performance,” and perhaps need to broaden our values.

Poetry Nook

I don’t like post-modern genre-bending much. But I do like this:

Class Warfare

“Long-Range Interaction and Evolutionary Stability in a Predator-Prey System” [New England Complex Systems Institute (Raymond Sim)]. From 2006, still germane. The Abstract: “Evolving ecosystems often are dominated by spatially local dynamics, but many also include long-range transport that mixes spatially separated groups. The existence of such mixing may be of critical importance since research shows spatial separation may be responsible for long-term stability of predator-prey systems. Complete mixing results in rapid global extinction, while spatial systems achive long term stability due to an inhomogeneous spatial pattern of local extinctions. We consider the robustness of a generic evolving predator-prey or host-pathogen model to long-range mixing and find a transition to global extinction at nontrivial values implying that even if significant mixing already exists, a small amount of additional mixing may cause extinction. Our results are relevant to the global mixing of species due to human intervention and to global transport of infectious disease.” • If I read this correctly, we can have air travel, or stable (not pandemic) infectious diseases, but not both. If so, the precautionary principle would seem to indicate, at the very least, the elimination or severe limitation of international air travel. One can only wonder why that’s not on the table. Oh well, Boeing had a good run….

News of the Wired

“Some Tree Buffs in D.C. Took It Upon Themselves to Help Rebuild Notre-Dame” [New York Magazine]. “La forêt [the rafters of Notre Dame] was a latticework constructed from over 1,300 oak trees, mostly in the 12th century….. [L]ast year, French president Emmanuel Macron decreed that the cathedral [would] be reconstructed just as it had been. [Rick] Brown [of Handshouse Studio] knew immediately that he wanted to get in on the reconstruction of la forêt, and knew just whom to dial: François Calame, the head of a group called Charpentiers Sans Frontières, or Carpenters Without Borders. The group acted as a liaison between Brown and the officials at Notre-Dame. They happily sent Brown blueprints of the wooden trusses that made up the attic. He decided he and his group would focus on rebuilding truss No. 6, which stood above the choir and was one of the oldest, and send it to the French as a gesture of American goodwill. It was some 35 feet tall and 45 feet across.” • I’m leaving out a lot of glorious technical detail. This article makes me happy and encouraged (not least because we have a nucleus of woodworkers ready when the Jackpot really begins to bite).

Soeaking of regulatory approvals:

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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. antidlc

    RE: FDA:
    “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

    Oh, real professional, guys. What a disgrace.

      1. Sardonia

        The FDA will not get many, if any, vaccine skeptics off the fence with their “approval” of the Pfizer vaccine. All they will do is make skeptics more skeptical – not just of the vaccines, but of every damn thing the FDA ever says from now on.

        And that’s just f****** tragic.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Dunno about “tragic.’ Maybe it’s long past damn time for the american people to get a serious object lesson in exactly how captured the “regulators” are by those they “regulate.” It’s been going on for decades, but this time it’s in everybody’s face.

          Lookin’ at you, DR. scott gottlieb.

          1. Michael

            With approval of Comirnaty, will we also get a list of side effects as with other FDA approved drugs? That would be interesting! May get Covid…

            1. ObjectiveFunction

              Comirnaty: just like actual ‘Community’ but kind of not!

              ….Brought to you with a firm commitment to the public Saf-T (kind of like actual safety)

              Would you like a side order of ‘chocolaty’ chip cookies with that?

          2. PKMKII

            Nah, this will just turn into another political football, another fault line to divide the anti-Trumpists and the Trumpists, as that’s the only dividing line that seems to matter to the chattering classes today. Both sides will claim this shows the other as being insane and destructive, and the pharmaceuticals making bank off public research will be ignored, again.

          3. Soredemos

            Back when the pandemic began the 2011 film Contagion got a resurgence in popularity. But now I feel I’m essentially forced to disown the movie. It may have accurately reflected how a previous generation of public health experts might have dealt with a pandemic (more or less; it would have always amounted to an idealized portrayal of ‘dispassionate professionals professionally professionaling’, when the reality is always much more chaotic and political than we’d like to imagine). But it clearly doesn’t hold for today (and probably didn’t even hold for 2011). Our ‘experts’ aren’t just stupid and inept. They’re now clearly actively duplicitous and aren’t actually acting primarily in the best interests of the public.

            The automatic dismissal of women in their thousands claiming getting the vaccines has disrupted their menstrual cycles is also sobering to watch. Really, there’s absolutely nothing to it and it’s not worth a deeper, more systemic inquiry? So much for ‘believe women’. The discounting of ‘women’s problems’ with vague hand-waving that any changes is just down to ‘stress’ could be straight out of the 19th century. What next? Are we going to proscribe genital stimulation as a cure for their ‘hysteria’?

          1. Soredemos

            I don’t know if it’s hubris though. I don’t know what the hell they think they’re doing, but I don’t think it’s arrogance and excessive pride.

            Maybe the people running the FDA are just genuinely too stupid to realize their own agency has approved the ‘horse dewormer’ for humans.

      2. Swamp Yankee

        On the use of “y’all” — this struck me, too, Lambert, I am not sure this is necessarily or at least exclusively a codeword for Bubba. In some respects, based on my experience, it’s worse — the PMC wokeista class has decided that “y’all” is the de rigeur second person plural these days, because “you guys,” which is gender-neutral in common usage in the Northeast, is a “gendered” term. This, of course, is nonsense, and would appear as such to the vast majority of inhabitants of the region.

        It’s ironic then, that in order to avoid that locution, upper middle class people from Connecticut or Pennsylvania, who look with horror at “cultural appropriation” when others do it, adopt wholesale a key feature of the Southern US dialect (black and white); some animals are more equal than others, evidently.

        It’s a personal pet peeve, one I was mentioning to a family member yesterday or today about this tweet. Note also the Internet-style humor [sic], premised on derision, knowingness, insider-ism.

        This tweet was written not only by a Wokeista, but a young one, at that — that’d be my wager, anyway. You see this in increasing numbers of large, establishment organizations, with social media accounts wildly and often absurdly out of step with their actual purpose and operations.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the PMC wokeista class has decided that “y’all” is the de rigeur second person plural these days, because “you guys,” which is gender-neutral in common usage in the Northeast, is a “gendered” term.

          Interesting. Can other readers confirm?

          1. Swamp Yankee

            My sample size is mostly made up of people I knew in graduate school (R1 mega-university in the Midwest) and undergrad (elite liberal arts college in New England) who are in woke-infected fields — academia, public health, education, NGO-world, etc.

            It’s notable that I only ever see it in print. I am of the working class and have gone back to it, and no one ever says “y’all” here in coastal New England.

            I just want to know: why is my culture (“you guys”) not okay, but other cultures (“Y’all”) de rigeur, if we’re going through the whole cultural relativism shtick?*

            *The PMC have quietly jettisoned cultural relativism, because now they’re determined to force their own version of solipsistic and affluent bourgeois cosmopolitanism down the entire unwilling world’s gullet.

          2. TBellT

            In a woke-ish young discord server I’m part of 797 uses of y’all, 236 uses of you guys. Usage of either did not seem to correlate with the “wokeness” of the user. I don’t buy it.

            1. John

              I picked up y’all from my Virginia born grandparents, reinforced in by going to college in Virginia, and living in North Carolina. Not a woke or wokish or bubba-ish motive in any of it. Oh, and ‘you guys’ grates on me for what I consider reasons of rhetorical good taste, but then I have curmudgeon-ish tendencies brought on by old age.

          3. katenka

            I can confirm (Midwest/Chicago)! Of course we have all sorts of cultures/populations represented here, and I hear plenty of non-woke-related natural y’all-ing as well. (My earliest years were in Philly/NJ, and so I generally say “you guys” — no one has actually challenged me on this yet, maybe because they correctly read that I will fight this one out, heh. I held the line on the formerly mildly unfashionable Oxford comma for decades before the tide turned! I have tasted victory before!)

              1. katenka

                The mysterious ways of the West! Do you have any common you-plural/collectives, or do you just roll with “you” and let context work it out (which probably would work fine, I would imagine…).

                1. Wukchumni

                  ‘dude’ still has cachet in the left corner pocket, but largely with somebody you’re familiar with, not something you’d say to a stranger.

                  1. Joe Renter

                    I challenge that on the dude speak, dude. Here is my part of CA in a one time small surf town that has turned into a place for the moneyed class, it is common to address either genders as “dude”. I know, too much.

                1. Michael McK

                  Our local University President just used it this evening. We are practically a different state than down south.

              2. HotFlash

                In Canada, my part at least, 2nd person singular is “you”, 2nd person plural is “youseguys”. I have also observed a usage in the southern US states (ie, anywhere Ohio or southernmore) for second person very plural (2pu? for second person universal?) “all y’all”.

                1. katenka

                  Yes, I’ve heard lots of “all y’all” too! MAXIMUM plurality (or can we take it higher???). I love the variety! Even though that one specific smirking, pinched woke strain of y’all gives me the shudders (but not enough to poison all the y’alls for me regardless!).

                  1. Yves Smith

                    I have lived in Alabama for two and a half years and NEVER heard any such thing. “Y’all” isn’t even used that much.

                    The only person I know who might say such a thing is brilliant and very redneck Alabama attorney who would turn up his accent and his Southernisms (which a lot of people here can and do control) just to offend the Yankees.

                2. debug

                  From a native speaker of the deepest southern dialect, immersed in it from birth: I have heard this. It is not widely used, but is sometimes used as an emphatic expression, and most often (though not always) with a semi-swallowed schwa sound in between the words . An example would be “ALL uh y’all need to listen up!” It is used to gain the attention of those who are not yet listening. Standard English equivalent would be something like: “Each and every one of all of you here today need to listen to this!”

                  As with all dialect, YMMV.

                3. eg

                  “Youseguys” is Ottawa Valley dialect; it is not widely used outside those environs except ironically.

                  1. SES

                    In a general store near Walkerton, Ontario (Alice Munro country) in 1987, a friend and I were addressed, simply, as “youse,” as in “What can I do for youse today?”

              3. LilD

                I’m California native and use it regularly but probably due to a college love interest with a southerner …

                  1. Benny

                    Australians have the ungendered 2nd person plural “Youse”.
                    I’ve never seen it used (yoused) in advertising/PR text, but it might have been. Dunno.

                    1. Basil Pesto

                      It’s not uncommon, but I wouldn’t say it’s widespread either and is considered very déclassé by the upper-middle classes and above. I believe in Australia its usage has an ethnic origin in the ‘wog’ communities, chiefly Italian and Greek. As a child I remember my mother rebuking any poor retail staff who had the temerity to address she and I in tandem as ‘youse’ on the grounds that it’s not Correct English (in reality, her understanding of language in general is extremely limited). Its use remains a neurotic obsession to all members of my immediate family except me (instead I have a neurotic obsession about their neurotic obsession). I say ‘youse’ ironically in their company all the time.

          4. Eclair

            English doesn’t have a plural second person pronoun. French, Spanish, Swedish, German, Greek(?) do. Can’t remember if Mandarin does. There are times when, to reduce confusion, it is really helpful to distinguish between the singular ‘you’ and the plural ‘you.’

            I have used y’all for a number of years; picked it up in Colorado. I do remember my parents’ Sicilian neighbors using ‘youse’ as plural second person. This was east coast, north of Boston. ‘You guys’ is definitely informal and, for me at least, used in spoken communication. As in, “Hey, you guys wanna go for a beer?”

            We won’t even get into the lack of a more respectful second person plural (or substituting the third person) when talking with one older or higher ranking person.

            So, why does modern English lack the second person plural? Linguists out there?

            1. katenka

              I *think* it is actually the second person singular that we lost; the once-plural “you” blobbed out and took over all the territory, although of course in practice now “you” certainly seems to default to singular (that’s the way I automatically interpret it at first glance, anyway, and this seems to be the norm!).

              1. Expat2uruguay

                I think you’re right. I’m studying Spanish so this is something that is talked about. I think you singular used to be “thou”
                Also, as a native of Florida, I learned y’all as a plural of you oh, and when I move to California used it as a way to be distinctive

            2. HotFlash

              In German, a parent/grandparent language of English, Sie (‘you’ 2p plural and/or singular) was and is used in formal speech, while du/dich (2p sng) for friends, family, lovers. In the Olden Dayes we had thee and thou, French I am not familiar with but I seem to recall a kerfluffle in Les Mis (the book) abt that sort of thing. Using 2ps was like addressing someone by their first name and for acquaintances usually required an invitation or permission or to inferiors (don’t even get me started on that!)

              1. Basil Pesto

                French is more or less the same. Vous is 2nd person plural but also singular formal. Tu is the singular. The point at social relations in which one can switch from ‘vous’ to ‘tu’ (tutoyer) is a recurring theme in the depiction of French mores in literature, particularly before the 20th century.

            3. Jessica

              Mandarin has a second person plural: Nimen. (Men can be added to Wo (I) or Ta (he,she,it) to form the plural.
              Japanese can use “tachi” this way, but the text book word for you (anata) is used so rarely that it has the impact of “sweetie” or “darling”. Japanese very often uses titles where other languages use pronouns, for example kacho (section manager) instead of you/he/she or using a person’s name when addressing them.
              In many languages, the word for “you” was originally quite polite but over time lost status.

          5. Riverboat Grambler

            Can confirm. Seems like a general Twitter thing, not entirely exclusive to PMC-scolder types but do they seem to be the most prominent adopters.

          6. Big River Bandido

            I recall sitting through a department meeting at my college a few years ago and having it explained to me by a junior faculty member that usage of “you guys” was a form of “microaggression”.

            1. Expat2uruguay

              Ah, microaggression, the good old days! Now what are the docket seems to be macroaggression

            2. Betty

              You guys –that has always bugged me, since the focus was just the guys, not the gals. Growing up, it meant the “cool” conversation didn’t include me, or women. Especially hard in graduate school. That was in the 60s and 70s. Maybe that’s all changed now.

          7. The Rev Kev

            I suppose that if they were trying to target people in the big cities like New York and Chicago or the New Jersey region, then they would be using ‘youse guys.’

          8. Basil Pesto

            a couple years ago there was a piece on one of the “current affairs” programmes in Australia about how some brave revolutionaries were trying to get Australians to stop saying ‘you guys’ colloquially because of its inherent sexism or whatever. It was a bit of shit-stirring remote-bait journalism of the tried and true “political correctness gone mad!!” genre. Nobody took or takes the effort seriously, it was propagated by fringe idiots, and use of ‘you guys’ continues unabated.

        2. Ben S

          In Mason-Dixon straddling Louisville, the most common second person plural is the non-contracted “You all”

        3. dandelion

          They don’t even use it properly. Southerner here — in plural form, they should say “all y’all.” ;)

          But seriously, to me, white non-Southerners using it sound like they’re appropriating AAVE. Because they wouldn’t deign to imitate Bubbas. So it’s just all around gross.

          1. Eloined

            Yikes, so when this native northeasterner was busing tables at a southern restaurant some decades ago, and appropriated “y’all” mainly to avoid notice and keep the dishes moving, I should not have asked tables of multiple diners , “y’all all set with these plates?” –‘all set’ of course being another northeastern expression — but instead, “all y’all all…?”

            I too have noticed at least in written form the young online left-leaning point-makers using more “y’all” and less “folks” which they seemed enamored of not long ago, but which may have become tricky to use for some whose circles might wonder why they didn’t select the x-configured ending of the word.

            As a child in the northeast I recall teachers, parents, police officers, etc., and of course other kids, using “you guys” as the most typical second-person plural (informal). It was plain language. Apologies to those whom that two-syllable northeastern cultural artifact has made feel like outsiders. Assuming a balancing test, “you all” seems a winner for its blend of efficiency, clarity (vs. the ambiguous “you”) and respect / mitigation of appropriation and potential offense.

      1. petal

        Exactly. The news report read on the radio this morning was about people overdosing in MS and included the CDC tweet. “You stupid southerners need to stop eating horse & cow dewormer, so we’ll speak in easy language y’all understand, okay?” Definitely targeted bubba-bashing. I’m so sick of it, not that I think the CDC and that lot have any credibility left anyway. Sorry, burnt out on all of it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’d buy you a beer to, Petal. In fact, there are so many people here on NC that would be willing to personally buy you a beer that it would put you in danger of liver damage.

          1. petal

            Thank you, HotFlash and Rev Kev. I really appreciate it-really. So many people here I’d be honored to “buy a beer” for, too. Unfortunately, I’m an oddball that cannot drink alcohol anymore as I have Crohn’s disease. I sure wish I could drink, especially tonight, but even a small glass of champagne would put me out of commission for 3 weeks. A soda pop would do nicely, though! This has been such a rotten evening, very upset.

        1. PHLDenizen

          I’ll see your “youse” and raise you a Western PA “yinz”, e.g. “yinz guys”.

          And the only acceptable pronunciation of water is “woofer”. At least in Philly and Delco. And some of southern NJ.

        2. Eustachedesaintpierre

          Very Irish eg. ” I know where youse live ”

          During the 80’s Gerry Adams was featured on the satirical TV show Spitting Image & if I remember correctly the above were the only words that ever crossed his puppets lips.

          1. Laughingsong

            When I was in Dublin it was more like “yiz” than youse. Of course Gerry’s from Norn Iron.

            1. Eustachedesaintpierre

              Yes on reflection that’s actually true – as my son-in-law who would fit right into Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy sounds like that.

              My Grandaughter who is big on Shakespeare & original pronunciation had him one night after while he was having few jars reading passages out loud & it was brilliant, especially one of the dirty jokes that gets lost in posh received version.

    1. Mikel

      That’s deflection so they don’t have to talk about that there are approved uses for humans and it has been used to treat Covid.

      I also see them leaving themselves an “out”: if, lo and behold, Ivermectin does find wider use for Covid treatment they are going to say “we were talking about the version of the drug for animals” or something to that effect.

      1. Objective Ace

        Its not an out, its just a strawman argument. The only plausible reason to voice concern about ivermectin at the moment is that its not approved. But FDA itself has a page dedicated to explanining why it can be okay to use medicine for off label uses. (link: https://www.fda.gov/patients/learn-about-expanded-access-and-other-treatment-options/understanding-unapproved-use-approved-drugs-label )

        Since that is effectively ruled out then, all they can do is argue something totally different (dont take animal ivermectin) and hope the reader doesnt see how they’ve slipped that in to defend an entirely different argument

      1. ambrit

        Careful now. It’s a slippery slope up the ramp to the worker with the sledge hammer.
        Stay safe and hull down.

        1. rowlf

          If I wasn’t sporting the Nikita Khrushchev “Harvest of 1958” hair style I would be buying Mane ‘n Tail products too.

      2. jr

        I got the Bitter Apple blues
        Hard to know what to choose.
        Maybe you win
        Or maybe you lose.
        Maybe you’ve nailed it
        Or maybe you’re screwed.
        Maybe you’ll thrive
        Or maybe worm food.
        Maybe it’s freedom
        Or maybe a noose.
        Maybe an Ace
        Or maybe a deuce.
        Maybe you’ll gallop
        Like an Apapapalooooooooooose!

    2. Wukchumni

      A horse is a horse of course of course
      And no one can take medicine for a horse of course.
      That is of course unless an mNRA course
      Is advised by Mister Fed!

      Go right to the source and ask what course.
      They’ll give you the answer that the MSM will endorse
      They’re always on a steady course.
      Talk to Mister Fed!

      People yakkity-yak a streak
      And waste your time of day,
      but Mister Fed will never speak bad of Ivermectin
      Unless he has something to say!

    3. clarky90

      Prof William Campbell – The Story of Ivermectin

      Trinity College Dublin, Oct 9, 2012


      “The avermectin family of compounds was discovered by Satoshi Ōmura of Kitasato University and William Campbell of Merck. In 1970, Ōmura isolated unusual Streptomyces bacteria from the soil near a golf course along the south east coast of Honshu, Japan.Ōmura sent the bacteria to William Campbell, who showed that the bacterial culture could cure mice infected with the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus……..”

    4. PHLDenizen

      Since some of us eat cow medium rare on less-than-rare occasions, isn’t the argument that, if such medications bioaccumulate in the tissues we ingest, that we are indeed already taking them? Or at least the metabolites?

      And that if these livestock-grade drugs are that awful, that either a) the FDA has admitted CAFO beef is unsafe or b) that the drugs are actually perfectly safe?

    5. Glen

      Yeah, seriously, everybody knows if we treated horses and cows like corporations treat people, we would get arrested!

      You’re a mindless drone for Amazon! You’re going to pee in a bottle and $hit your pants and love it!

      1. Expat2uruguay

        Hiel Amazon!
        Edited to add, dammit I’m such a bad Nazi I don’t even know how to spell it.

    6. JTMcPhee

      I presume “guys” is one of those slurb wokewords now that also includes persons of at least partially female gender identity…

      1. HotFlash

        Back in the old(er) days it meant an effigy, a fool, a dummy, a rebel, a poorly-dressed person, who would likely be burned in effigy (ideally, at least from the burnee’s point of view). I self identify as ost or all of those. Several variants, here is one source.[

    7. Soredemos

      And with this the government has fully transitioned (if it hadn’t already) into outright gaslighting. They’re simply lying now. I’m honestly in awe of this. They can no longer make the claim that ‘we were just following the science and made an honest mistake’.

    8. Raymond Sim

      Howdy everybody!

      Just so yeverbody knows: I drink milk that comes from cows’ tits, I done gave my kids that milk and give it to my grandkids too.

      One thing I do worry about it though, having been down on the farm and seen how things get done, is the veterinary medications that find their way into it. But I guess the government really does care.

  2. Mikel

    “Opinion: As an aerosol scientist, I know schools need masks, HEPA filters and outdoor lunches:” [The Denver Post].

    Good. Somebody moved the bus that aerosol scientists must have been thrown under for over a year and a half.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      This is the Denver Post, and the University of Colorado has been very strong on aerosols. What we needed on school ventilation was continuous messaging from Walensky, Fauci, and sometimes Biden, starting when the school summer began, because that’s when schools can work on their physical plant. What we got instead was Walensky and Biden’s moronic “Mission Accomplished” moment, plus about two weeks of intense “hot vax summmer” from our moronic press before the reality of Delta set in. And the Biden Administration, having discredited or abandoned Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention, is now betting the farm on vaccination. It would have been better to hedge, but here we are.

    2. IM Doc

      It must be noted to readers that the University of Colorado and one of its affiliate hospitals, Denver Jewish, is the pre-eminent academic center in this entire country for pulmonary disease. Hands down.

      They know a thing or two about aerosolization there.

    3. John

      The school I which I teach ventilated every classroom despite cold weather, masks were required, and lunches outside whenever weather allowed, and scattered in ventilate rooms when that was not possible. There were a couple of isolated cases of positive COVID tests followed by quarantines.

      This year will start with a similar regime and families are urged to get all those over 12 vaccinated. I expect it will work well again.

      1. Ben S

        Our district can’t ventilate due to laws designed to keep shooters out by one open door. Fire department comes if you prop open the only other things that can be used.

      2. HotFlash

        John, I wish you, your colleagues, and all those kiddos well the very best. I hope the much more transmissible* and more child-infecting Delta is good to, um, all y’all. I just did a Swiss Cows search, please look at whichever sources you trust.

  3. zagonostra


    Since India’s experience with CV has seemed to disappear, I went over to the Times of India to have a look. They have a “Covid Tracker” that says that there were 382 deaths on Aug 22 related to CV. New Cases are down 30%, to 25,320.

    Now if you do the math, India has ~1.4 billion people and these figures are just rounding variances. So, with Ivermectin being part of the treatment that is accepted in India, I’m not sure I get the “don’t use a horse” medication as a prophylactic.

    This is the proverbial Sherlock Holmes “the dog didn’t bark” dynamic at play with the disappearance of reporting on India.


    1. Carla

      Re: Ivermectin, Lambert says “If an off-label treatment works — and the jury is very much still out — is that so very bad?”

      It is for Pfizer.

      1. PHLDenizen

        “It is for Pfizer”

        You’d think so, but I’m not so easily convinced. They could Frankenstein together a time-release Ivermectin that received experimental use authorization and call it “Covid-B-Gone”. Then lobby the CDC to run their marketing campaign. Make the generic ivermectin radioactive to prescribe to anyone but people like IM Doc. MSM would gladly amplify that message.

        And you’d get all the advantages of patent protection, IP leverage, and super cheap to manufacture. Logistically simple, too.

        I think this is less and less about Covid itself and more about setting precedent w.r.t. mRNA delivery platform approval for numerous future uses. “See? Billions and billions served with few adverse advents!”

        1. Laughingsong

          Maybe they could call it “Dammitol” — it’s about how I am feeling about the whole COVID mess most days recently.

        2. petal

          PHLDenizen, this has been my thought for a long time, too. It has now opened the doors for the platform, for Moderna and Pfizer to go into other areas with mrna vaccine platform. I’ve been reading in Fierce Pharma about their plans. This/they just broke it wide open, especially for Moderna. There was even an article about “How is Moderna going to spend its billions?” My internet is really spotty tonight or else I’d go find it and post the link. I should have done it at the time. After being taught by our CEO years ago about it every time they came back from a meeting with big pharma, I can’t stop seeing pharmaceutical business strategy in all of this.

    2. Mantid

      Well, this site is another good place to watch and keep track of the numbers: https://www.ndtv.com/coronavirus/india-covid-19-tracker

      I follow Uttar Pradesh. Their deaths from Covid today (with a population above 500 million) were …. zero, niente, rien, zed. aka none. Of course there were likely a few, but I challenge anyone to prove that India’s numbers are as through the roof as the U.S. There are no funeral pyres burning, floating bodies in the Ganges, hospitals overflowing, shortages of O2 canisters, etc. Please don’t send stock photos from 4 months ago. That would be so MSM.

      Ivermectin use? High

      Vaccination rate? It’s still in the single digits.

      Florida? Under reporting did you say? Texas? Pediatric wards packed. Oregon sending children to hospital in Seattle due to lack of beds?

      India? Passez moi l’ ivermectin stp dégolas!

      1. Zagonostra

        Thanks for the link Mantid. Why is no one interested in India anymore with respect to corona virus? It really is stark. When the news was bad you could not turn to a news outlet that wasn’t reporting, now nary a peep that the news is encouraging. Speaks volumes how reporting is being used to gin up fear beyond what is suggested by the ‘science’. Motive, I don’t know. There is certainly much speculation but who can say unequivocally what is driving this.

      2. steelyman

        The population of Uttar Pradesh is not 500 million. I don’t know why I keep seeing this figure being quoted on numerous links. According to Wiki, the population of UP based on the latest figures (2020) is 241 million. That’s still a huge number of people!

  4. William Hunter Duncan

    There was no public meeting, and there was no new data; FDA gave approval based on the data from Pfizer’s application for an EUA”

    So, not a scientific decision, a political decision. If anyone says I have to take a booster I am going to boost my fist into their face.

    1. John

      Did I not read that a Pfizer executive remarked that boosters would be a wonderful source of profit? Political decision yes; in the name of profit.

    2. William Hunter Duncan

      I sent an email to the FDA Ombudsman. I hope my info is accurate. I think it unlikely anyone other than here reads it:

      To the FDA,

      I heard today that the FDA authorized Phizer’s Covid Vaccine. I have had both primary shots. I have also learned that the FDA in their decision: 1. Did not consult any outside experts; 2. Did not hold any public meeting; 3. Did not study any new information, only reviewing the original application by Phizer for emergency authorization.

      Thus I conclude: 1. This is not a scientific decision, as most prevailing scientific information was ignored; 2. This is a political decision relating to what is an increasingly unscientific attempt to vaccinate everybody by whatever means necessary; 3. The FDA is no longer a scientific agency but a political one; 4. All information flowing from the FDA should be viewed through a lens of politics; 5. I will not, under any circumstance or any mandate, take a Phizer booster shot, because I no longer trust Phizer or the FDA. 

      I learned too, that Janet Woodcock, the Acting Director of the FDA, was the long-time head of CEDR, the “top cop” of the agency, who presided over the authorization of Oxycontin and defended that authorization for decades. That she was nominated to be Acting Director in the midst of this pandemic at the very least suggests a breathtaking incompetence and indifference to suffering, not just of this Acting Director, but the FDA generally, the Biden Administration, the media and the Health Care industry, that begs for real accountability. 

      It is true what they say, how fabulously corrupt institutions and elite become in a declining empire. Sincerely,

      William Hunter Duncan       

  5. Pat

    It gets worse if you read the comments to the FDA tweet. Oh sure there are some people who call them on tone (and get scolded for it) and a couple who point out that there is a human version. But most rag on the stupid people who forgo the safe and effective vaccines for an animal dewormer.

    I know Trump was not helpful in the decline of civility, but quite honestly I think the people who have really destroyed it are the so-called liberal PMC Democrats who were so bent out of shape that the incompetent but uber qualified/s, and hated Hillary Clinton was beaten by a long term entertainment conman who was smart enough to hire people who understood the over 200 year old system of the electoral college.*

    Because no, I am not above it all anymore than they are.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > an animal dewormer.

      Which implies Ivermectin is not approved for human use. It is. The talking point is amazingly dishonest.

      It’s as if they flipped open the playbook, crossed out “fish tank cleaner,” and wrote in “horse paste” (or “animal dewormer”). Propaganda is part of the scientific method, I suppose.

      1. rabbitPA

        I’m wondering if we are missing a piece of the FDA message? It seems to me the message is asking people to stop ingesting the OTC animal formulation of this med. I gather from other articles that most individuals taking ivermectin are buying the veterinary version at their local farm store and are not getting the prescription strength dose from their own provider. I’m fairly sure the veterinary dose/formulation is not approved for human ingestion and may well not be safe in that form.

        1. voteforno6

          That is exactly what they’re talking about. This came on the heels of a reports out of Mississippi regarding people being hospitalized after taking the veterinary formulation. At least, that’s what I’m assuming, though I’m not as savvy as some of the people posting here.

        2. Sardonia

          “I’m wondering if we are missing a piece of the FDA message?”

          We are not missing a piece at all. The “don’t take animal medicine” is just a head-fake for “don’t take FDA-approved human medications that have been shown to be effective in clinical studies for COVID, but are generic and hence, not very profitable to the companies where we here at the FDA wish to land jobs in a year or two after our work is done here.”

        3. lambert strether

          When you’ve got good souls like Trish Greenhalgh regurgitating “horse dewormer” you know the propaganda is working; that Ivermectin and “for animals” have been successfully associated.

          Surely it was not impossible to craft a message that suggested people get scrip for the human formulation? And not use the animal version? But that’s not the message (and it would take a fantastic level of naivete to believe it was).

          1. clarky90

            “The (mere) Horse Wormer” that continues to save the lives of millions of human beings in Africa and South America

            COVID-19: The Ivermectin African Enigma


            “WHO recommends treating onchocerciasis (River Blindness patients) with ivermectin at least once yearly for between 10 to 15 years…..

            Onchocerciasis, commonly known as “river blindness”, is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. …

            More than 99% of infected people live in 31 African countries. The disease also exists in some foci in Latin America and Yemen.

            Community-directed treatment with ivermectin is the core strategy to eliminate onchocerciasis in Africa. In the Americas the strategy is biannual large-scale treatment with ivermectin.

            The Onchocerciasis Control Programme relieved 40 million people from infection, prevented blindness in 600 000 people, and ensured that 18 million children were born free from the threat of the disease and blindness. In addition, 25 million hectares of abandoned arable land were reclaimed for settlement and agricultural production, capable of feeding 17 million people annually…..

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Stability in a predator-prey system–

    That article appears on an interesting website: New England Complex Systems Institute. By coincidence, the Kauffmans’ chapter on complex systems and their characteristics was our assignment for today in our Common Earth course, things like environmentally modifying or self-replicating or self-maintaining and -repairing systems.

    If systems thinking is something you’ve heard about but never studied in a systematic way–and that was my sorry state being nearly 70–here’s a more or less painless way to get some additional exposure. Fritjof Capra moved from particle physics, Carlos Castaneda and the Tao of Physics in the 70s to systems thinking in the 80s as his commitment to environmentalism grew. In the late 80s, he wrote a movie script called “Mindwalk” and got his brother to direct. Moreover, he got Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston and John Heard to star in what is basically a filmed Socratic dialogue. Ullman plays a particle physicist and speaks for Capra. Waterston is a Hart-esque U. S. Senator whose bid for the D Presidential nomination has just failed. Heard is a cynical and disillusioned poet and personal friend of the Waterston character. No car chases. Hardly any plot. Nearly devoid of romance. As I said, it’s basically a filmed (around Mont-Saint-Michel) Socratic dialogue bouncing around ideas about how physics is necessarily changing our worldviews and how systems thinking can be applied to ecological problems.

    It’s on YouTube in its entirety.

      1. kevbot9000

        I immediately thought of Lotka-Volterra models, but that’s from an arbitrarily mathematical background. On that note, if people are interested in those sorts of things Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Strogatz was probably the best math textbook I ever had and I think should be accessible to most people without a high level of math. (Algebra yes, calculus probably not)

      2. lance ringquist


        “Of course I believe in free enterprise but in my system of free enterprise, the democratic principle is that there never was, never has been, never will be, room for the ruthless exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few.” Harry S. Truman”

        and this,

        this was removed from the GATT by bill clinton,

        “Compensatory tariffs might be added to products from countries that do not maintain international standards of environmental protection, wages, health and safety standards, and social safety nets, thus encouraging higher standards for all people everywhere.”


        a lack of tariffs has done this to the poor: free trade is whats driving slavery: free traders outraged, US seizes shipment of Chinese products over human rights fears

        to the true believer, this means nothing, This is so heartbreaking for us,” she said. “I want people to think about the slavery people are experiencing today”

        If you bring up the destruction of the American middle class, pro-globalization adherents will point to facts like the rising fortunes of those 100’s of millions of Chinese workers who are now supposedly above the World Bank definition of poverty, making more than $1.90 a day.

        That those same workers still have virtually no rights or benefits and on occasion have to be housed in factories with safety nets to keep them from killing themselves at an astronomical rate is immaterial to True Believers.”

        “Free trade rhetoric almost always serves a magical function: It erases ugly, violent political realities and replaces them with clean, natural progress. To its evangelists, free trade isn’t just a way to maximize profits and production. It offers a path to the elimination of human evil.”

        “in the 90s under bill clinton, much of the free trade movement “ceased to be empirical”, And without an interest in facts, it is hard to govern well for long.”

        “Is the answer to withdraw from global trade, as the free traders have caricatured our position? No, it is to go back to a system like the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which promoted trade but was flexible enough to allow countries policy space to develop and to preserve their intricate social contracts by preventing commodity dumping, environmental dumping, and social dumping.”


        of course free trade is spreading poverty and enslavement: Only a moron (or someone as disconnected from the realities of life like Bill Gates) could think that being able to buy as much as it takes to live on at $1.90 a day.

        The economics of free trade and political polarization we are living through is really a process of social destruction of the world as we knew it.


        World Poverty is NOT Decreasing
        2019 January 31
        tags: extreme poverty, world not best to live ever
        by Ian Welsh

        I’ve said before the that world poverty isn’t reducing, but let’s say it again.

        The trend that the graph depicts is based on a poverty line of $1.90 (£1.44) per day, which is the equivalent of what $1.90 could buy in the US in 2011. It’s obscenely low by any standard, and we now have piles of evidence that people living just above this line have terrible levels of malnutrition and mortality. Earning $2 per day doesn’t mean that you’re somehow suddenly free of extreme poverty. Not by a long shot.

        Scholars have been calling for a more reasonable poverty line for many years. Most agree that people need a minimum of about $7.40 per day to achieve basic nutrition and normal human life expectancy…

        there is no way out of this mess till nafta billy clintons policies have been reversed. i said what nafta billy was doing in the 1990’s most likely cannot be reversed by conventional methods.

    1. groovingpict

      Wow, I saw a clip of a small portion of this years ago as a young teenager and remember that it made quite the impression on me. Had completely forgotten about it and only made the connection with your mention of Mont-Saint-Michel, but I will definitely revisit the entire film! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wukchumni

    “What if Olympic athletes went back to competing naked?” [BBC].
    About the only time i’m naked with others sans clothes is in a natural hot spring, the further away from polite society, the better chance that other soakers will also be scantily clad, but really only in the hot spring.

    I can be naked in Death Valley NP @ Saline hot springs, but if I attempted the same @ the Sherman Tree here in Sequoia NP, they’d arrest me and off to jail i’d go.

    One thing I always got asked about in regards to Burning Man, ‘was everybody naked?’ and no not really. Being naked is kind of like being in a convertible with the top down when it’s 100 degrees outside-no fun.

    The first naked Olympics would perhaps catapult what has become a kind of boring scene (as evidenced by lack of viewership in Tokyo) into must see tv, because of the athletes being really fit (scratch that on the weight lifters-they ought to keep their clothes on) and looking buff, in the buff.

    It would really help events such as rhythmic gymnastics, which I feel nobody but the relatives of the young pixies cavorting with a ball or ribbon, actually watch.

    It’d be hell on clothing advertisers though, as if Levi’s or Old Navy are going to have tv commercials during the Olympics.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      All I can think about is whether male hurdlers would be able to compete nude without potential damage.

      1. Pelham

        In the high jump, nudity would add notable confirmation for the Fosbury Flop technique over the old-style straddle.

        1. Sardonia

          However, new records could be set in the hammer throw, what with the added centrifugal force.

      2. Raymond Sim

        I’ve heard more than once that stallions can make reluctant hunters. You Only Live Ooof!

    2. elissa3

      Don’t men and almost all women have protrusions or dangling appendages that would make totally naked sports a somewhat painful proposition? Common sense anyone?

  8. saywhat?

    (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.) lambert

    There’s only one way to bring on the Rapture that I know of and that is spreading (or helping to spread) the Gospel (Good News) world-wide. Other attempts shall not only fail but shall be condemned if they are evil.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I think that was the 19th century view of the Post-Millennialists who did believe that converting most people would usher in peace and justice, and pave the way for Jesus. In their defense, Post-Millennialists were at the forefront of a lot of efforts with social value like settlement houses.

      The Pre-Millennialists of Darby and the Rapture have a darker view of things, especially since that highly successful “The End is Near” prophet, Hal Lindsey, who viewed the evil machinations of the enemy of the day to be the the budding of the tree, i.e. the precursor to the End Times. For them, the prerequisite has already occurred: the establishment of the state of Israel.

      Roman Catholics and Lutherans, following Augustine, are amillennialists who take the 1,000 year reign in Revelation figuratively.

  9. urblintz

    Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner overseeing full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, has issues…including her approval of oxycontin and aduhelm. She will not, however, be getting the permanent position despite a trove of industry awards. She hopes to be remembered for this one final bad decision, I suppose.



    1. Greg Taylor

      Clearly no potential commissioner wanted to sully their reputation on these vaccine approvals. Janet had the least to lose. Will be interesting to see where she revolves.

      1. John Beech

        I saw mention of Israel, and their data that over 60 y/o are gaining 4X the protection with the booster (3rd shot).

    1. PHLDenizen

      I think it was also IM Doc who mentioned 3rd and 4th boosters provoking increasingly violent immunoresponses. To the point where some exited the studies due to the misery.

      If they suck at producing anti-bodies AND make you that horrifically ill, I’m going to watch with some amusement how the PMC contorts themselves again into advocating this as an optimal outcome.

  10. Carolinian

    B is for Bush, not Biden

    Osama bin Laden was portrayed as an iconic terrorist, to be apprehended for his orchestration of 9/11. But George Bush from his first day in office, Jan. 20, 2001, could have negotiated with the Taliban to assassinate Osama bin Laden or to surrender him into U.S. custody.

    That was the standing offer the Taliban tendered in late 2000, seeking to retain U.S. favor after bin Laden bombed the U.S.S. Cole. The Bush administration refused the offer, four times prior to 9/11 and once more five days later.[…]

    In February of 2003, Saddam Hussein offered to enter voluntary exile in Turkey, Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

    Here was “regime change” handed on a platter to George Bush, but a peaceful one. The offer was brushed aside.

    And then there’s this.

    ‘Tomorrow the Taliban will start surrendering their weapons,’ the Taliban’s spokesman Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef announced on Dec. 7, 2001. “I think we should go home.” But the United States refused the group’s surrender, vowing to fight on to shatter the Taliban’s influence in every corner of the country.’


    Of course none of the above matters to the power junkies in the media. To them Biden=loser; Bush=flightsuit.

      1. JohnnyGL

        That’s both shocking….and when I recall the attitude from the Bush administration, strangely familiar.

        That’s really remarkable that he just brushed off the guy who orchestrated the biggest terrorist attack in our country’s history, and did so six months after it took place.

        As bizarre as it sounds, I wish Democrats of 2004 had Trump’s killer instinct from the 2016 campaign. I still recall one of the debates when Kerry was asked about the biggest threat that America faced. He said something anodyne like ‘loose nukes’.

        If Kerry had a killer instinct, he’d have hammered GW Bush with quotes like that and for not having gotten Bin Laden in 3 years. And, you know, he’d have won!

    1. Geo

      Another interesting tidbit on this subject. Scott Ritter has a piece up today noting it’s the 25th anniversary of Bin Laden’s call to war on the United States.

      “From the hills of the Hindu Kush on August 23, 1996, Osama Bin Laden told the United States he was coming for them.”

      His conclusion: “The victory he prophesied has come true–in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, the myth of American invincibility did, in fact, come crashing down.”

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “Talking to a vaccine-hesitant person? Do these 8 things” [Becker’s Hospital Review].

    7. Don’t just parrot the CDC — act like someone they can trust.

    ‘Nuff said.

  12. antidlc

    Lambert’s comment on the Pfizer approval:
    ” There was no public meeting, and there was no new data; FDA gave approval based on the data from Pfizer’s application for an EUA.”

    Here is what the FDA is claiming in its press release:

    The first EUA, issued Dec. 11, for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older was based on safety and effectiveness data from a randomized, controlled, blinded ongoing clinical trial of thousands of individuals.

    To support the FDA’s approval decision today, the FDA reviewed updated data from the clinical trial which supported the EUA and included a longer duration of follow-up in a larger clinical trial population.

    Specifically, in the FDA’s review for approval, the agency analyzed effectiveness data from approximately 20,000 vaccine and 20,000 placebo recipients ages 16 and older who did not have evidence of the COVID-19 virus infection within a week of receiving the second dose. The safety of Comirnaty was evaluated in approximately 22,000 people who received the vaccine and 22,000 people who received a placebo 16 years of age and older.

    Also in the press release:

    In addition, although not FDA requirements, the company has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to evaluate pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I should have written “no new data available for public review.” I have corrected the post.

      I still think the judgment that “this is political decision” (not a scientific one) is correct.

      I never thought I’d long for the days of process liberalism….

      1. antidlc

        I still think the judgment that “this is political decision” (not a scientific one) is correct.


        You also said :”They had better be right, is all I can say.”

        I have had an awful feeling all day that this will not end well.

        Very depressing.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        You would be surprised (maybe, maybe not) how many medicines used to treat major mental health problems get by with low populations in Phase III trials – and how routinely they are prescribed off-label for use in things like insomnia due strictly to side effects of the drug (Quetiapine being the biggest off-label usage and heavily prescribed by non-psychiatrists.

    2. PHLDenizen

      “Committed to”. Lol.

      Uh huh. I’ve also not heard about their immunity shield being revoked. Is that automatic with formal approval or is it still lingering? Seems to me a regulatory agency and Pfizer would both celebrate the dissolution of such a thing as proof of safety.

      We had thalidomide babies. Maybe we’ll have mRNA non-babies when those of child-bearing age discover it’s going to take throwing more money at Pfizer, etc. to get prego via IVF.

      1. antidlc

        I thought “committed to” was rather pathetic.

        Why were pregnant women being told to get vaccinated if they didn’t have safety studies?

        Oh, wait. Never mind.

        Sometimes I just shake my head and weep.

    3. Objective Ace

      >The safety of Comirnaty was evaluated in approximately 22,000 people who received the vaccine and 22,000 people who received a placebo 16 years of age and older.

      The safety, but not the efficacy then? Is that how theyre still claiming 91 percent effectiveness? They just didnt bother to measure it against delta?

    4. Badbisco


      “ But you won’t find 10 month follow-up data here. While the preprint is new, the results it contains aren’t particularly up to date. In fact, the paper is based on the same data cut-off date (13 March 2021) as the 1 April press release, and its topline efficacy result is identical: 91.3% (95% CI 89.0 to 93.2) vaccine efficacy against symptomatic covid-19 through “up to six months of follow-up.”

      Sr editor BMJ

    5. Hiroyuki

      out of curiosity did you notice the date those safety studies will come in?
      may 31 2027 is what i heard

  13. Clark

    If naboobs tell you pharmaceutical Ivermectin prescribed by a doctor is for animals, tell them that Trump is behind the vaccine that they took.

    BTW, our copay for a month’s supply of Ivermectin was ten dollars.

    The Vitamin D, C and zinc we take along with it is far more expensive. (Good quality products, not Walmart brand). Approximately $4.50 day, including Ivermectin. You see why Big Pharma and their puppets in media are against that.

    Example: Jim Smith, the Former President and CEO of Thomson Reuters and now the current Chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the corporate arm of the company, also sits as a board member at Pfizer – except under the name James Smith.”

    https://divergemedia.ca/2021/06/28/thomas-reuters-foundation-chairman-is-also-board-member-at-pfizer/Wonder if there’s any influence?

  14. Grouchypants

    I think we need to start fighting back versus this war on Ivermectin and its propaganda.
    This is a link to a study regarding the mechanism of action of ivermectin and covid-19.

    Based on a note on the study it’s probably going to be stripped from the web and I would advise anybody who finds it useful to either download a copy or print out a copy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Here is the note:

      22 June 2021 Editor’s Note: Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this paper are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the editors and the publisher. A further editorial response will follow the resolution of these issues.

      It would be interesting to know who muscled the editors (and whether similar muscle is being applied to the authors, Asiya Kamber Zaidi and Puya Dehgani-Mobaraki.

      NOTE: Linked to by NC on 6/19/2021.

      1. Eduardo

        A little more context:

        Considering the urgency of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, simultaneous detection of various new mutant strains and future potential re-emergence of novel coronaviruses, repurposing of approved drugs such as Ivermectin could be worthy of attention.

        Change history
        22 June 2021Editor’s Note: Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this paper are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the editors and the publisher. A further editorial response will follow the resolution of these issues.

        Seriously, could be worthy of attention is subject to criticisms that are being considered by the editors and the publisher?

    2. Dean

      It is not even a study. It is a review article with no methods, no meta analysis or other statistics. It is simply a compilation of the results from other studies that were found in a Pubmed search.

      Hard to figure what could be the problem unless they selectively omitted studies that did not support their conclusions.

  15. ptb

    Some very few words regarding vaxx mandates, after reviewing the Israeli statistics:

    If the policy goal is to vaccinate people to stop hospitals filling up, and thereby prevent large scale mortality — it can be done. The population in question is retired people who haven’t taken the vaccines yet.

    This is because (1) retired age people, both vaccinated and not, make up the overwhelming majority of serious cases, and (2) whatever the fraction of “severe breakthrough cases”, vaxx policy won’t stop those, unfortunately. Thus policy should target where it can help.

    So here are the important points about this critical group:

    (3) Most forms of policy that are meant to encourage vaccination go like this: blocking the unvaccinated from entertainment venues or workplaces. This targets the wrong demographic. Plenty of leverage over people below retirement age, who make up a small fraction of serious cases. Little leverage over people over retirement age, who matter for hospitals and mortality.

    (4) By definition, the target group has already identified as opposed to vaccination. Typical human behavior, when trying to force someone to do something they don’t want to, with crappy leverage, is that they’ll just dig in more.

    It would be much simpler would be to make it optional. Maybe something like cash payments proportional to age, for over 65, or whatever cutoff is chosen.

    ///rant off

    1. The Rev Kev

      And here in Oz we are being told that we have to stick to the Doherty plan in spite of the fact that it is not matching the reality. And we just have to accept the mass deaths as it will be just like the flu. Also magic vaccines will give us herd immunity although they are not so crass to use that later term. Would you believe it was only just this week that Sydney finally mandated face masks? But what undermines this whole neoliberal plan is that I do not believe that hospital capacity is up to a country experiencing mass infections. I doubt that the numbers are there for ICU beds either. And our media is in bed with these politicians on the whole. But their whole idea was just to let ‘er rip.

        1. The Rev Kev

          We are being told that once we are at 70-80% vaccination rates, that it will be safe to completely open up. And that the number of sick or dead should just be accepted-


          Never thought I would see the day that leaders here in Oz would willingly consign hundreds of people to their deaths annually, just so that they can save a mythical economy. This, in spite of hard evidence that it won’t work what they are doing.

          1. Wukchumni

            Interesting juxtaposition, Arden is a lapsed Mormon who realizes the only hope really is a severe lockdown, whereas Morrison is an all too typical evang, perhaps hoping some of your flock meets their maker sooner than later.

    1. Mantid

      Thank You. Recovering from dental surgery today so I really appreciate NC and it’s readership. Hopefully not too many comments today. Oh … wait, sorry

  16. Screwball

    I am furious, but I knew this was coming. We truly live in a real world $hit show. People wonder how we got here. I can’t find all the words, plus I’m furious. They shouldn’t. It’s called TRUST.

    Who and what can/should we trust anymore?

    This might be the spark, and it won’t be pretty. Buckle up people – $hit’s going to get real.

      1. Shane

        This brings up a valid point I’ve thought for a while: NC should dispense with the fiction that this is a “family blog.” It is clearly aimed toward educated adults (who often are more prone to swearing anyway), and any kids who do come across it and discover what an incredible resource it is are 100% subjected to *much* more vulgar content on a daily basis. (Just the other day, I heard two ~15yo athletes I coach make a joke about setting up a non-sexual OnlyFans for one of them, then commenting on the deplatforming of sex workers there.)

        In this post alone, “f***ing” and “s**t” are both quoted, and I have seen Lambert, Yves, and others here swear on occasion.

        Do we really need to continue to self-censor to preserve a false truth of “acceptable” content. It just seems a bit…puritanical for my tastes. Obviously not my site, so you do you NC, but for my part, I think this is one tradition that can be discontinued.

        1. Geo

          Personally, I’m a fan of the rule. I think it is a useful way to retain relative civility in the comments and forces a certain subconscious courtesy in our discourse.

          Plus, I like the term “familyblogging” and wish I knew more NC readers in real life so I could use it as a perjorative more often. :)

          And, in the end, this is their blog so it’s fair that they don’t have to follow their own rules much like my parents always used to tell us, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

        2. The Rev Kev

          Well, yeah. Sometimes I will see a controversial story – like the time that a professor said that perhaps we could bring back a limited form of slavery. If permitted, my comment on this would put a Marine Corps sergeant to shame but venting is not the same as analyzing.

    1. PHLDenizen

      I hear this sentiment a lot and then I wonder if Naked Capitalism were a country what THAT would look like.

      From the establishment, it’d probably look like pariah dogs and wandering madmen.

  17. NotTimothyGeithner

    “I don’t trust anybody, including you.”

    I know Biden is one to blather, but given the brass’s behavior and his nihilist former allies calling themselves “moderates”, is this indicative of more?

  18. cocomaan

    When trying to sound out the pronunciation, I discovered that Comirnaty starts off a lot like “Comorbidity.”

    1. saywhat?

      And “Comradery” as in “Let’s all jump off the cliff together! And that’ll make it OK!”

    2. Shane

      I thought it was an attempt to garble “community” — which is itself appropriate, given how libs have mangled all semblance of that word’s true meaning.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Ask *your* doctor about ‘Comirnaty®’. Just like ‘Community’, but kind of not.

        Just like pharmacy is now Medicin® (we left off the last E for Effort).

        All brought to you with an unwavering commitment to Saf-T® (kind of like actual safety, but….)

        Would you like a side order of ‘chocolaty’ chip cookies with that, America?

        Upton Sinclair, to the blood and feces spattered courtesy telegraph….

  19. Shane

    I know we look at the 7-day average for a reason, but…

    Friday recorded 319,000(!!!) new cases in the US, which as far as I can tell, is the highest single day new cases confirmed since the pandemic began, by about 19,000.

    So while the trend line may not be vertical at this moment, I’ll be very curious to see what today’s numbers are, given the low reporting of new cases on weekends.

    1. Lost in OR

      Florida reported 150,000 cases Friday, which is about 130,000 above their 7 day average. That was an anomaly.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If people want to protest in NSW, that is a matter for the NSW authorities. But when a crowd of them in NSW try to rush the Queensland border to express their freedom to spread a virus to that State that has just gotten it under control, then familyblog them.

    2. Kfish

      The states of Australia started off as separate British colonies before federation in 1901. As a result, they all have constitutions of almost unlimited power for “peace, welfare and good government”. There’s no Bill of Rights or similar limit on state powers.

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the fascinating photo

    Also note that Biden is maskless. Presumably everyone in that room has either been recently tested and/or vaccinated including Biden. Masks are to protect others from you. So why is one party maskless while all the others are not? Why not everyone, or nobody?

    If this were coronavirus masking theater presumably the POTUS would be wearing one to set an example he’d like the public to follow.

    Instead this looks like power theater letting everyone know the king doesn’t follow the rules while the others do what they’re told whether it’s warranted or not. This is not the only one recently where Biden was maskless surrounded by masked underlings. There was one the other day regarding some meeting re: Afghanistan where it wasn’t photographers and reporters, but the military brass who had to hide their faces in the presence of the kaiser.

  21. John Emerson

    I really hate to praise Biden, but in the context of the actual US we live in, I have to do it. He’s done in Afghanistan what someone should have done 15 or so years ago. But between the Trumpies, the moderates, the media and us ultraleftists, he’s doomed. There are no positive forces in the U.S. To praise Biden is to concede that you’ve been defeated, and I concede. There’s no place in this country for me.

    I am starting to feel the same way about Ivermectin. It’s unfortunate, but the actual political argument here is between Tucker Carlson and Fauci, and I’m with Fauci. And it’s been political all along.

    1. cocomaan

      Unfortunately, Biden’s terrible handling of the Afghanistan pullout, leaving behind equipment and American citizens, almost guarantees that we’re either going back to Afghanistan, or that we’ll enter another war just to save face.

      There was a graceful exit and fighting at the airport is not part of it.

      1. Objective Ace

        Did Biden have anything to do with that though? Its not like he gets to appoint the generals who are in charge. If they want to make the pullout look bad there’s not much he can do. Its either cave in or deal with the consequences. Reminds me of my child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store when I won’t buy her what she wants

        1. cocomaan

          If Biden is being held hostage by generals who complied only with the letter and not the spirit of his orders, he should call them out. Have not heard him do that. Instead, Jen Psaki is lying about Americans not being trapped there.

          1. lance ringquist

            Trumans firing of MacArthur was reasserting civilian control over the military. we lost civilian control of the military under bill clinton.


            Washington.–One year into his administration, Bill Clinton finds himself a virtual hostage of the military-industrial complex. In case after case, when push has come to shove, he has given in to the entrenched power of the Pentagon, the CIA and the defense establishment…

        2. urblintz

          …besides, why occupy when you can sanction!

          just ask Madeleine Albright, who preferred dead children to those doing what children do.

      2. Darthbobber

        Bah. One forgets that the bulk of that left-behind equipment was left for use by that Afghan army that the military had been telling us for years was fit for purpose. Imagine the outcry had we tried destroying or bringing back all of it “My God! You’re disarming our heroic allies! Treason! Stab in the back!

        The brass hats and spooks did not plan or implement a more “graceful” exit because they hoped to spin Biden and avoid ANY exit.

        1. Wukchumni

          Didn’t a good many of our police departments end up with MRAPs and the like?

          Did they ever make it to the ‘stanbox, or just domestic giveaways?

        2. The Rev Kev

          Some of it they do not want back. About $28 million was spent on camouflaged uniforms for the Afghan army but after the first samples arrived, it was realized that they were totally wrong for the Afghan landscape. But the contract went through anyway.

        3. cocomaan

          I don’t think we have any idea what equipment is left behind, who the bulk was left for, etc.

          1. John Emerson

            Who cares? For Christ’s sake, this has been a 20 year disaster, and you’re doing goddamn equipment inventory.

            1. Cocomaan

              Because a Taliban that’s even better equipped than after US assistance against the Russians can cause all kinds of problems for the USA. They become an excuse to go back. If you think this is the end of the Afghanistan conflict, I think you’re not cynical enough.

              1. John Emerson

                Yeah, I hear they have plans to invade New Mexico to get The Bomb.

                If we go back to Afghanistan, which I doubt, it won’t have anything to do with the equipment, much of which will be scrapped. There’s no reason for them to be our problem any more. Except for Bin Laden, thre never was.

              2. Darthbobber

                It can be portrayed as that, but that has to do only with how the mighty Wurlitzer works, not with material reality.

                Let’s bear in mind that this fiasco was kicked off by guys who demonstrated that under the right circumstances box cutters are perfectly adequate to launch a successful high profile terrorist strike.

                This all makes no more sense than the Johnson admin’s efforts to conjure mental images of the Viet Cong sailing their sampans under the golden gate bridge if we failed to stop them in their own country.

                Have there been any terrorist incidents in the west where the villains imported their weapons? Do they need to?

                How does an armored personnel carrier in Kandahar translate into a terrorist threat? Are they going to get some giant cargo planes, land a bunch of them in a field in Kansas and pass them out to local recruits? Good grief.

      3. John Emerson

        He finally did what should have been done 15 years ago. It wasn’t going to be fun. The idea thata we could have brought out the equipment is ridiculous. “Please, Taliban, let us peacefully take out our equipment so you don’t get it”. NOBODY could orchestrate that.

        We will see how many Americans are trapped.

        I don’t come here to read crap I could have gotten at Fox.

    2. poopinator

      So the most important criteria with respect to evaluating IVM is personality and politics as opposed to data? And when did antiwar sentiment, M4M and economic justice become “ultraleftist”? I understand feeling defeated and being happy with the withdrawal (I’m with you on both counts), but geez, the framing is awful

      1. John Emerson

        I’m OK with being an ultraleftist for what that’s worth. But what a pitiful force we are, Who fears us? We can jut bitch, bitch, bitch.

    3. Mantid

      John, your line “There’s no place in this country for me.” reminds me of an 80’s punk song with the lyrics “I am betraying my country …. it’s no longer pacifist “. I can not for the life of me remember who or which band it was. Anyone remember????? I can sing it but I can’t find it. Bullocks

  22. Brunches with Cats

    “The photographer must have been kneeling or even crawling, which shows deference (although also the desire to do what it takes to get the shot).”

    Shooting from below is standard in cinematograpy for expressing the character’s power. To show a weak position, disadvantage, low on the food chain, etc., the shot is downward. I’d wager that the photographer was too preoccupied with getting the shot to give two figs about showing deference.

    Adding yet another angle to your astute analysis, note Biden’s size relative to everyone else — another standard cinematography trick, as well as code in pre-Renaissance art for depicting the relative importance of subjects. Hierarchical proportion also was used heavily in ancient Egyptian art.

    In any case, the elements of that shot most certainly weren’t accidental.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      It’s how they made shrimpy Charles Bronson look like a tough guy action hero. I rented him some skis once and I’m well under 6 feet and had him by a few inches.

      1. newcatty

        Us shrimps ( 5 feet) resemble that remark! Though I almost never have my photo taken( a benefit of being old: no means no) , if I do so again I will insist on being shot from below. As grand mama, I can project my power to my family. Pausing, while I imagine them lol. Honey, I shrank myself! Snif, I used to be “5 foot 2, eyes of Blue”. Well, the eyes still have it. I will defer to the bias against short people seems to be more applied to males.

    2. Arizona Slim

      My very first press conference as a photographer? Ralph Nader. And, yes, I sat down there on the floor, taking “shoot up the snoot” photos.

      SOP if you’re a press photographer.

  23. Eduardo

    Lambert — “Deaths on trend rising; nowhere near meriting an anti-triumphalist black line, being an order of magnitude less than there were at peak.

    This is not anymore and hasn’t been for over two weeks. Current deaths per million are around 3 and the peak was around 10.

  24. Wukchumni

    Anybody going to the Jackson Hive concert in Wyoming?

    …experts agree that free money is the best kind

    1. Lee

      I had a drink with Robert Duvall in Jackson Hole. Actually we just happened to be in the same bar at the same time. Thing is, Jackson Hole is an environmental travesty.

      “Early in the 20th century, Jackson Hole rose as a beacon in American wildlife conservation history when, in 1912, the National Elk Refuge was established as a rescue mission. Following winters when thousands of elk died from starvation owed to the fact they were unable to migrate out of Jackson Hole due to settlement blocking their traditional passageways, stranded wapiti on the flats stretching north of the town of Jackson were given supplemental rations of hay. As a result, it created an unnatural massing of elk in the high-elevation valley that previously did not exist prior to the arrival of white homesteaders…

      Now, in more ecologically-enlightened times, this management practice is highly controversial. It is under withering scrutiny as disease experts say feeding, which puts elk at grave risk of catching CWD, could actually lead to the destruction of animals it was intended to save. But it is not merely a local concern.

      Western Wyoming is home to the largest unnatural wildlife feedground complex in the world. Along with the Elk Refuge, there are another 22 elk feedgrounds operated by the state of Wyoming. In total, more than 20,000 elk will congregate in close quarters at those locations until spring, whereby they are highly likely to come in close contact with other CWD-infected wapiti or deer, experts say.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Was up in the Atwell Grove of Giant Sequoias last week, and its a fabulous grove that requires all off-trail hiking to get into the upper reaches where damn near every tree is 15 feet wide @ eye level, and seeing how it’s on steep terrain, when looking at a giant from below, it gives them the appearance of being even bigger, which is ok by me.

        It’s a grove of superlatives in that it has Sequoias growing at the highest altitude and a number of trees over 300 feet tall, along with perhaps the oldest of the species-the Arm Tree.

        Were it to burn down similar to the groves in the south last year, nobody would ever know what was there for the most part, because it’s 3 hours of crunchy (Sequoias almost rival Eucalyptus in leaving lots of tree debris in their wake below) trail-less travel in getting there.

  25. ChrisPacific

    Those “do you trust ” questions are moronic. What responsible leader would do that? They’re accountable to a different population than you are. By all means look for areas of alignment and build a track record of cooperation where you can, but expecting foreign leaders to be honest with you if it conflicts with their domestic obligations makes no sense at all.

    Putin has always called this out as stupid whenever it’s asked of him (which I’m sure confirms the bias of Westen media) but US presidents haven’t for some reason. I’ll give Biden credit for answering it properly, while feeling depressed about how low the bar is set for presidential competence these days.

    1. PHLDenizen

      I always read “do you trust” questions as proxies for “which person do I use to indirectly manipulate you?” I have to think lobbyist ears are always swirling like radar antennae for exactly those answers.

      When you point out to the PMC that Putin is much smarter than every president in recent US history, they accuse you of undermining the country. It’d be funny if it weren’t so depressing. His leadership style isn’t exactly collaborative, but he’s not a stupid man and he certainly understands geopolitics more than most politicians.

        1. ambrit

          I’m afraid that we’re confronted with used war sleaspeople. (I think I’ll let that typo stay. It’s too appropos.)

  26. Wukchumni

    Signs on retail stores in the CVBB tend to say:

    ‘No mask need to be worn if vaccinated’

    Of course we’re on the honor system, and i’ve been masked up for the past fortnight while in a store or restaurant, so from an appearance sake standpoint, I present myself as an anti-vaxer albeit a vaccinated masked one.

    Lots of external contretemps going on …

  27. antidlc

    From Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization Review Memorandum


    Page 44
    5.2. Pharmacovigilance Activities
    Pfizer submitted a Pharmacovigilance Plan (PVP) to monitor safety concerns that could be
    associated with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. The Sponsor identified vaccine-associated
    enhanced disease including vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease as an important
    potential risk.

    Has this safety monitoring been done? If so, what were the results?

    1. Hiroyuki

      there are NO safety concerns with these vaccines at all. Anyone who says there are is an anti-vaxer and Trump supporter.

  28. Lee

    Regarding Trump running again for president:

    How about Trump as speaker of the house between now and 2024? Wouldn’t than be fun!

    As the Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone who is not a member of the House at the time, and non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years. Wikipedia

    1. curlydan

      could you imagine that plus a weekly parliamentary-type “question time” session? Now that would generate some ratings!

  29. petal

    Hey ambrit, the rheumatologist that had said they’d sign my exemption just flipped and has now said he won’t do it(7 days before the deadline). On to the infertility doctor tomorrow. They are totally discounting people who are having flares/symptom aggro post-vaccination-going so far as to say there’s no proof, that it’s not happening at all. As if I didn’t dislike the medical profession already…

    1. ambrit

      Oh God, I am so sorry. Stay strong. It’s not as if you could afford to refuse vaccination and lose employment.
      Did the rheumatologist give you a reason for flipping? Is there a big Medical Industrial corporation involved?
      I won’t even “go there” concerning mRNA ‘side effects.’ I don’t know enough about it. However, no one knows enough at this time. The entire vaccine process has been politicized and generally bungled.
      It really does look like a power trip being carried out in the interests of Big Everything. And, of course, we all are small.
      Good luck with the infertility doctor tomorrow!

  30. Jason Boxman

    On crapification. I get job emails, and occasionally they’re revealing in one way or another. For example, for ChangeHealthcare. It sounds like a political campaign, so I clicked. It’s not. It seems to be a company rollup instead: https://www.changehealthcare.com/login (Lots of different products, rebranded.)

    Lots of different rebranded things. Or APIs. For healthcare!


    They claim “A trusted partner for organizations committed to improving the healthcare system through technology” and “The Change Healthcare Platform provides industry-leading analytics, expansive data, and unparalleled connection and data transfer between providers, payers, and consumers to help improve workflows, increase administrative and financial efficiencies, and improve clinical decisions.”

    It’s not exactly a web site that seems to be about anything concrete, but apparently this is a publicly traded company!

    “Change Healthcare (Nasdaq: CHNG) is a leading healthcare technology company, focused on insights, innovation and accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the power of the Change Healthcare Platform.”

    Isn’t neoliberalism great?

  31. rowlf

    I’m guessing the FDA took the FAA’s first and second certification of the 737 MAX as a departmental challenge.

    How long until Pfizer is allowed to self-approve?

  32. ChrisRUEcon


    ” … said Neera Tanden, a senior advisor to the president who has overseen the war room since July”

    Neera FamilyBlog Tanden … failing ever upward in the service of kleptocracy.

    Oh good, indeed. #SlashSarc

  33. Jeff W

    We have, of course, the halo around the President’s head, often achieved with a Presidential seal, but here with a chandelier…

    Reminds me of the site Reading The Pictures (which we used to know as BagNewsNotes until it was renamed in 2015).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks. I used to read BagNewsNotes a lot, until they went full Obot. Perhaps they have recovered their balance. Thanks for the link.

      Adding, I can’t get the scrollbars to work in any browser, so I guess they’ve gone full “mobile-friendly.”

  34. Lois

    Long time reader, occasional commenter. I keep reading updates on the breakthrough COVID case situation, with the vaccines being both non-sterilizing and seem to have waning effectiveness. And then I still see so much chatter on Twitter etc. insisting that the pandemic would be over except for unvaccinated people, and that more and more places are requiring proof of vaccination to attend. I am vaccinated and am glad to be better protected from severe outcomes but seriously – how are people still thinking vaccines alone will end the pandemic? It is just so bizarre. I feel like I’m living in a funhouse mirror. The PTB went all in on vaccines as the sole solution and they are just going to cling to it while we go through this cycle over and over?? My kids go back to school in 10 days and thankfully my state has reinstated an indoor mask mandate everywhere. And since mine are teens they are vaccinated. But from the top on down (looking at you, Biden Administration), there’s just this magical thinking, passive, dysfunctional “plan” going on. I don’t even know how to wrap up this comment. It is just so disorienting, wondering if anyone else feels the same.

    1. Mikel

      Feel the same every day all day…don’t see “the magic” the non-sterilizing shots. The studies are not complete on the inititial participants, studies in progress on multiple shots, and these fools are mandating left and right. This is fear. “We don’t know what to do, we just need you out spending. If you die, we can import more consumers.”

      I keep telling people there would be some clarity really quick if they got a lockdown from the bottom and not top down.

    2. Raymond Sim

      “…wondering if anyone else feels the same.”

      I do, and I keep wondering why. I mean, I’m old enough to remember watching the nightly ‘body count’ report during the Vietnam War. Kids I knew lost brothers there. Two of my childhood friends died of AIDS. I’ve watched as decade by decade the weather got more and more freakish and dangerous. And I can’t recall a time when very much of public discourse was about anything real, or the people seemed clued into much of anything that was likely to be shaping our future.

      I think there’s a foolish patriotic boy inside me who’s steadfastly rejected the evidence of his own eyes for all this time, and he’s finally beginning the other stages of grief. What a schmuck.

    3. Basil Pesto

      Yes, I feel an increasingly debilitating anxiety, and a dread for what is to come that I can only hope is
      misplaced. It’s especially bizarre in Australia, where we have such an advantage in being able to observe vaccinated populations, but are otherwise committed to the “re-opening” concept with gross oversimplifications of what the future holds based on hope rather than evidence, and leaning on abject idées recues like “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. I will get a vaccine soon because increasingly I feel that the control of the disease is slipping away, but somewhat paradoxically, the more vaccinated, the more accelerated that lack of control is likely to become. Vaccinated or not, I really don’t want to get the disease. I’m semi-seriously considering relocating to Tasmania. I feel like 2022 is going to be a horrible year. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    4. Brian Beijer

      “living in a funhouse mirror” and “it is just so disorienting” I believe a classic signs that one is being gaslighted. Instead of losing yourself in those feelings, use those feelings to orientate yourself.

      When I was a practicing therapist, I learned to use my feelings to help diagnose clients. For example, if by the end of a session, I felt like my soul had been drained of its life force, I would suspect the client might have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder- but I think the woke psychologists have renamed it). On the other hand, if I felt like I had just been dropped out of an airplane, I would suspect the client might be Bipolar (again, probably renamed by now). I’m not saying I would diagnose clients based on my feelings, but I did use them as one of my diagnostic tools. Feelings can be an incredibly helpful “sixth sense” in helping one navigate the external world. So, when you feel disoriented, it’s a strong signal that you’re being gaslighted.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > So, when you feel disoriented, it’s a strong signal that you’re being gaslighted.

        Gaslighting is supposed to flicker. It’s not supposed to be a full-on glare, as it would with (say) a cop giving a suspect the third degree.

        We stagger and feel disoriented when a bright light were shown in our eyes as well (the powers-that-be having decided that, dammit, subtle flickering just wasn’t enough).

  35. Wukchumni

    Go take a hike dept.: White Chief Canyon

    I’ve been hiking with a couple of French ex-pats who have called the CVBB home for a dozen years now, and our destination was White Chief Canyon in Mineral King, where a fellow named Crabtree was told by a ghostly apparition of an Indian Chief in the 1870’s, that silver was there.

    A mine is usually a horrible thing to waste resources on, and his was no exception. It burrows straight back into white marble for 175 feet, that is until he and his backers got cold feet and gave up.

    They drilled holes in the ceiling for black powder explosive charges about every 6 feet, and then had to muck out the mine full of exploded white marble after each explosion, and whoever was responsible for the blasting really knew what they were doing as the mine seldom varies in terms of height, usually around 7 feet high. There’s many tons of tailings below the entrance, some sparkling like white diamonds.

    Saw a half dozen deer and a pika, the latter with a mouthful of grass in it’s mouth as it scurried into a burrow in the rocks.


  36. allan

    Effects of face masks and ventilation on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 respiratory transmission in public toilets: a quantitative microbial risk assessment [medRxiv preprint]

    Abstract: Public toilets could increase the risk of COVID-19 infection via airborne transmission; however, related research is limited. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection risk through respiratory transmission using a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework by retrieving SARS-CoV-2 concentrations from the swab tests of 251 Thai patients. Three virus-generating scenarios were investigated: an infector breathing, breathing with a cough, and breathing with a sneeze. Infection risk (97.5th percentile) was as high as 10^{-3} with breathing and increased to 10^{-1} with a cough or sneeze, thus all higher than the risk benchmark of 5 x 10^{-5} per event. No significant gender differences for toilet users (receptors) were noted. The highest risk scenario of breathing and a sneeze was further evaluated for risk mitigation measures. Risk mitigation to lower than the benchmark succeeded only when the infector and receptor simultaneously wore an N95 respirator or surgical mask and when the receptor wore an N95 respirator and the infector wore a denim fabric mask. Ventilation up to 20 air changes per hour (ACH), beyond the 12-ACH suggested by the WHO, did not mitigate risk. Virus concentration, volume of expelled droplets, and receptor dwell time were identified as the main contributors to transmission risk.

    This is not a problem, because nobody ever needs to go to the bathroom at work, school, airports,
    restaurants, bars or concerts, and anybody who does is surely wearing an N95.

    It’s going to be a long autumn.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Even a lot of camp grounds have powerful flush toilets making plumbs. I thought that camping was going to be my solution to traveling in the time of covid but it doesn’t really work unless you can find less developed camp grounds with outhouses.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Fecal plume” is a phrase that sticks in the mind….

      Note the graphical abstract shows the study applies to Western-style sitting toilets, i.e. toilets in hotels, malls, middle-class homes, offices, as opposed to (the globally famous or notorious) squat toilets (more rural, more poor).

      Since only Western-style toilets generate fecal plumes, because of the flushing action, it’s interesting to consider whether the squat toilets prevalent in so much of Southeast Asia are a hidden protection against transmission. Granted, the study considers sitting toilets in “busy public spaces” so that’s a confounder.

      Adding, for migrant workers: Many migrant labor camps use PortaPotties (no plumbing). One shudders to think.

      NOTE It’s also interesting to see aerosol transmission yet again, in a milieu where fomite transmission is an oft-mooted scenario.

  37. Tom Stone

    It seems clear that the Pfizer Vaccine was approved so that its use could be mandated, not possible with an experimental vaccine.
    And I’d bet that the “You are not a horse or a cow” campaign came about because its use is becoming common, and it works, or seems to.
    The man I ran across last week who was giddy because his very seriously ill daughter had responded VERY well to treatment with Ivermectin is a case in point.
    Who ya gonna trust?
    The FDA or someone whose daughter recovered because the family Doctor had the balls to prescribe IVM?
    Once this next surge of Covid-19 really hits it will be a game changer.
    Because Kids.
    And not just any Kids, Kids who matter.
    The Children of the PMC.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “The FDA or someone whose daughter recovered because the family Doctor had the balls to prescribe IVM?”

      I think they’re the real target of this campaign, and it’s bound to give many pause. After all, you need a license to practice medicine.

      Maybe there’s a corollary to “If your business depends on a platform…”

      If your profession requires a license, you don’t really have a profession.

  38. VietnamVet

    I’m with Alastair Crooke. The fall of Afghanistan is a deeply traumatic shock. The Imperial Western Empire has fallen. The Afghans kicked the globalists out. Syria and Iraq are next. UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia basing is very questionable. So is the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

    In the USA, the corporate state’s approval of “Comirnaty” without a public hearing to discuss the known risks, unknown long-term risks, declining efficacy within months of injection, and its failure to prevent virus transmission is just as great a shock. Science based government decisions for the public good are no more.

    As proven by the proliferation of casinos, lotteries, Lexus Lanes, the opioid crisis, forever wars, privatized healthcare, the homeless; the health and happiness of the American people is of no concern to its current rulers; only profits. The divisions, the incompetence, the greed, and the oligarchy’s internal conflicts are very much the same as just before the 1860 election that triggered the Civil War. A clean sweep of all corporate politicians and restoration of democracy may be the only way to avoid the third American revolt.

    1. lance ringquist

      everything you just described is the results of bill clintons policies, that was the turning point in american history.

      i read once a long time ago, that dr. david kessler warned the clinton administration that there was a opioid crises beginning to rage in the newly impoverished formally middle class areas ravaged by nafta billy clintons free trade, kessler was told to ignore it. if i ever find that article again, i will post it.

  39. PHLDenizen

    I finally got around to watching this week’s Last Week Tonight episode. It’s been less cringe inducing as of late, but John Oliver’s take on Afghanistan did make my brows furrow even if i wasn’t shaking my head the whole way through.

    Of course, the chaos of the withdrawal is all Trump’s fault. *eyeroll* Trump started negotiating in February of 2020 with the Taliban for a total pull-out by May of 2021, wherein Afghanistan agrees to not become a haven for terrorist and to start peace talks with the government.

    Oliver: “…Notably that deal excluded the Afghan government…” His citation? FactCheck.org: https://www.factcheck.org/2021/08/timeline-of-u-s-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/ I haven’t dug too deeply into the organization, but I’m always suspicious of these things. And Biden having “inherited” imparts an inevitability which seems to argue Biden had little choice but to carry on Trump’s path, so Biden had no agency in changing the trajectory. Until he actually pushed forward, in which case he’s his own man and earns the ire of the generals and defense contractors.

    My understanding is that the Taliban basically IS the Afghan government, with the latter being some kind of aspirational proxy for Western Democratic values. Twenty years of nation building and still the country needs babysitting?

    Oliver leans heavily into the MSM scaremongering via clips of how a Taliban-centric Afghanistan shouldn’t be allowed to stand. And the MSM is simply echoing the MIC’s desire to subvert the executive branch.

    The phrase “grimmest unboxing videos” was pretty funny. Apparently the Taliban have been arming themselves with non-evacuated weaponry and filming it like excited children on Christmas.

    Yeah. It’s a mess. But the US shouldn’t be the world’s janitor. The UK or Australia or someone else can swoop in. The fact that they’re not is demonstrative of their unseriousness, impotence, or both.

    Oliver’s claim that there’s a “betrayal of the US service members asked to fulfill those self-servicing promises, asking themselves, ‘what did I just do?’” is a bit strong. Apparently “relief” isn’t an option. Or “having their lives back.” That sounds like something out of the brass’s mouths, not actual grunts.

    Speaking of allies, why isn’t Western Europe offering to take some of the refugees? If it’s a humanitarian mission, the UN should be coordinating a global response. The concern for the native “collaborators” is wholly disingenuous. I don’t know what’s worse. Their fate or that the US uses them as props for propaganda.

    And cue the inevitable clips of Tucker saying things like “first we invade, then we’re invaded”.

    Last Week Tonight is a useful barometer of what the PMC is thinking. And it does do some good stories on things like social security, the opioid crisis, etc. Which is why I watch it. But as a legit news source? Nooope.

  40. rowlf

    Good stuff and somewhat connected to today’s big pharmaceutical announcement: Clarke and Dawe – The Key to Good Governance

    BRYAN DAWE: Sort it later. Colin Barnett, do you think that charging people to have access to a democratically elected leader’s a contradiction in terms?

    JOHN CLARKE: No, I don’t, Bryan. Democracy is government by the people and obviously business leaders are people.

    BRYAN DAWE: Well that’s right. Yeah. So are the poor, aren’t they?

    JOHN CLARKE: They are, but they’re not doing lot of governing, Bryan. It’s government by the people.

    BRYAN DAWE: But isn’t that why the poor need representation?

    JOHN CLARKE: Well they’ve got representation. That’s not the issue.

    BRYAN DAWE: Well shouldn’t they have equal representation?

    JOHN CLARKE: Equal to the people who can afford to pay for better representation?

    BRYAN DAWE: Yes.

    JOHN CLARKE: Um, well there goes your market, Bryan.


  41. Mason

    There’s forty empty positions for EMT’s and Paramedics in my county alone, and I wanted to change things up from real estate. Got my EMT-B certification. I’m really hesitant because two things…

    1. No part time jobs and they have mandatory overtime in this Covid wave. Burnout risk.
    2. Mandatory vaccination.

    Maybe wait two months and see what happens if they keep the requirement?

    1. The Rev Kev

      It may be that in two months time, that they will be so desperate for replacements for those who burn-out or who have gotten sick that any warm body will be accepted.

    2. PHLDenizen

      I’ve thought many times about getting my certification, but given the propensity of some Americans to be, eh, “large mammals” measured in “clinical units” (slang for multiples of 200 lbs), I’ve had to decide how committed I am to severely injuring my back. Stories of nurses and orderlies wrecking their bodies are legion in ERs.

      I’m a strong dude who deadlifts and squats regularly, but loading your body improperly is injurious. And not trivially. When you’re maneuvering a stretcher around tight corners or down flights of stairs or even not bracing correctly when loading an ambulance, you get hurt.

      So far I’ve been pretty happy with water rescue, including diving certification. Sometimes it’s unpleasant, especially if the body’s been submerged for some time. Took me a while to deal with that and even now it’s still haunting. But it’s got to be done and I’m a good swimmer. So play to your strengths, I guess. All volunteer.

      1. Mason


        Back in class they started putting live people on the Stryker for practice. I was nervous. I had poor form. Stretched something in my lumbar. It very rarely hurts, and doesn’t hurt much at all, and hope it doesn’t come back in 30 years. I like to think it was a warning shot for my back. I tried… tried to have good form.

        I hate strykers…

  42. Grant

    A socialist wins a primary in the Democratic Party for mayor in Buffalo, and the Democrats respond by possibly dissolving the office of the mayor. Now, that is some next level class war. The Democrats are dominated by capital and the rich, throw the kitchen sink at the left every primary (even in districts where the Democrat is certain to win), are all corrupt, have long supported policies that have benefited the rich (including them) and their donors at the expense of the poor and working people, and when working people elect politicians to fight for them the Democrats go scorched Earth. It is a right wing party and the actions of the Democrats in Buffalo are ridiculous, should bring on a massive backlash. Where is the unity thing they keep on discussing? If Bernie would have won the primary, this would have went national.

    1. Mason

      “They aren’t even hiding it”, eh. It’s annoying to say that now.

      I wonder if were finally get close to riot and revolution territory. Screw over hundreds of thousands of people in such a brazen way.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > that is some next level class war

      Anybody remember Lieberman vs. Lamont, back in 2006? The horrid Lieberman lost to Lamont in the Democrat primary, then got on the ballot by collecting signatures for a new party, “Connecticut for Lieberman.” Obama in 2006:

      “I know that some in the party have differences with Joe. I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s the elephant in the room,” Obama told his audience. “And Joe and I don’t agree on everything.”

      “But what I know is that Joe Lieberman is a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America,” Obama said. “I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate.”

      As Obama spoke, Lamont was seated with his wife, Annie, at Table 96, just outside the kitchen and far, far away from the roped-off section of party insiders, elected officials and big donors in the front of the room at the 58th Annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner, as the fundraiser was known then.

      1. Another Scott

        I’ve always viewed Ned Lamont as like Maddow and Kos in that their opposition to the Iraq War lent them a lot of credibility as a “lefty” despite having many other positions that are less than progressive. I was in school in Connecticut at the time and thought, “Lieberman’s horrible, especially on Iraq, but Lamont seems like he’ll be a horrible senator as well. At least I don’t have to vote for either of them.”

        That senate race and how activists ignored what I saw as clear warning signs about Lamont’s ties to business and hostility to labor that turned me off of Democratic activities. In hindsight, the primary looks like a dress rehearsal for the Obama Clinton primary two years later.

        Since being elected, he spent the first half of his term pushing for tolls through public-private partnerships, having testy relationships with unions, and opposing public option on health insurance.

        Here’s a recent example:

        “That was a little more complicated because there was private money and public money side by side,” Lamont said, stressing a near class-warfare aspect of the criticism. “’Corporate board guys dropping dollars on we peasants.’ I’ve got to tell you that was an attitude that killed any opportunity for us to do much fundraising. I’ve got to figure out how we can do better to put together a structure that is transparent; that gives you confidence that they’re acting in the public interest; and we can leverage their amazing resources, their intellectual resources and their financial resources.”


  43. Hiroyuki

    regarding the drug that shall not be named
    perhaps it is not about the drug at all. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesnt. that is not the point.
    perhaps the whole point is to create indignation and contention and divide.
    it is surely working

  44. Hiroyuki

    Israeli Prime Minister today:
    “When we set out we hoped the question would be the results on the ground. The third vaccine protects us and can prevent harm to health and livelihoods. If five months have passed since the second vaccine – you are not protected. Get vaccinated immediately.”

  45. The Rev Kev


    Can you imagine what the fallout would be if Grindr stocks were brought up by Saud/Gulf equity firms? And then Grindr put out an announcement that thanks all their customers but says that they can no longer host any gay or lesbian material as it will not align with what their banks want?

  46. jrkrideau

    Note that the paper unfortunately includes the Elgazzar et al. débâcle of a “study” that is so bizarre as to leave one bewildered. BTW, this study is no worse than others that cited Elgazzar et al., totally missing how excruciatingly bad it is.

  47. urblintz


    “The American Empire, like those of the past, is facing a conflagration of catastrophes. Climate change, a global pandemic, ecological collapse, loss of confidence in its institutions, gross economic disparity. And it, like those of the past, will likely ignore them all until it is too late. It is losing ground in its former colonies, even as it desperately tries to stay relevant with military blustering against its adversaries. It is warmongering society unable to grapple with the complex issues of our time outside the rhetoric, posturing and policy of aggression. But Dune, as well as other heroic epics, have a message for those of us living at the margins of empire: despite their myths of glory and grandeur, all empires fall. Some sooner than others. All of them with a pervasive sense of incredulity. And we had best prepare for the fall-out when it does.”

    [bleep] Steven Pinker to the courtesy phone… Pinker… Steven Pinker… [bleep]

    1. LifelongLib

      But the American Empire (all empires?) is very much a top-down operation. Most Americans have little awareness of or interest in other nations. Had it not been for huge efforts by Woodrow Wilson and FDR, the U.S. would probably have stayed out of both world wars, settling for small-scale operations that would (to paraphrase a writer whose name I can’t recall) keep this or that country safe for Standard Oil, United Fruit, and Jesus Christ. Things like Vietnam and Iraq happened because a relatively small number of influential people thought they were a good idea, not because of a great groundswell of popular opinion. Thanks in part to bin Laden, some sort of action in Afghanistan was probably inevitable after 9/11, but beating up the Taliban seems to have been more high-level opportunism (for what?) than a result of a widespread thirst for blood.

      Most Americans won’t miss the Empire at all.

  48. Lambert Strether Post author

    > Comirnaty

    Surely this is the worst name ever for a medication? It doesn’t even look like English (though perhaps that’s the point). It doesn’t rhyme. Not even with “chocolaty” or “non-treaty.”. PATY is an acronym (please and thank you). And “mir” looks… Russian. Heck, “Comirn” looks Russian (Comintern). What on earth were the marketers thinking? They must have spent a fortune on the brand, and this is what we get?

    I far prefer “Dammitol.” Though I wonder if there are stronger versions.

    1. CoryP

      Maybe they pulled the name out of their reject pile since it already has an effective PR campaign and why waste one of the good names on it? Besides if people keep calling it “the Pfizer vaccine” that’s probably even better for branding.

  49. fjallstrom

    Looking at the death and spread development in the US, the curves are strikingly similar as in October-November, but now starting from a lower base.

    So starting from where the case curve starts increasing from the base:
    In the period 7th July – 23th August 2021 cases in the US increased by 135k
    In the period 4th October – 20th November 2020 cases in the US increased by 127k

    The death curve starts increasing from the base about two weeks later:
    In the period 23th July – 23th August 2021 deaths/100k in the US increased by 2.3
    In the period 20th October – 20th November 2020 deaths/100k in the US increased by 2.2

    So not only is cases increasing at about the same rate as last fall, so is deaths. This is bad. Unless there is something I’m missing, this far the vaccines are barely keeping up with the virus evolving.

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