2:00PM Water Cooler 8/27/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Sorry for the “LMS Catalog number…” human voice at the start, but the best recordings often have this. There’s also something that I swear is a descending jet plane in the background, but perhaps it’s just a giant tropical insect.

* * *


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:

South still fiddling and diddling.

51.9% 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 have added an ant-triumphalist black line to show that we are 20,000 cases away from reaching the “First Step.” I would say we’ve moved off the vertical a bit, much in the same way that a golf drive does approaching its peak, conforming to the drop in “Rapid Risers,” the drop in positivity, and the decrease in hospitalization in Florida and Texas. 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):

Cooking time for Florida’s data seems to have increased. Texas down again. Meanwhile, Georgia and Louisiana have diverged.

FL: “Florida COVID update: 901 added deaths, largest single-day increase in pandemic history” [Miami Herald]. “Florida on Thursday reported 21,765 more COVID-19 cases and 901 deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Miami Herald calculations of CDC data. All but two of the newly reported deaths occurred after July 25, with about 78% of those people dying in the past two weeks, according to Herald calculations of data published by the CDC. The majority of deaths happened during Florida’s latest surge in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the delta variant. It is the largest single-day increase to the death total in the state’s COVID pandemic history.” • At some point, cooking the books gets overwhelmed by anecdote.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report August 25, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

Lots and lots of yellow and green, especially in the South and the Acela Corridor. Florida is almost clear (which I should have mentioned already). Northern Maine (quite lightly populated. suddenly turned red. I hate to be optimistic, but it looks like this fever has broken (thought the back to school bump, IMSHO, has yet to really take hold.) Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers, so the case chart still has momentum. 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.)

“The Maine Center for Disease Control on Thursday reported 390 new coronavirus cases across the state. Aroostook County has 51 new infections and three more hospitalizations” [Q96.1]. “With one week left in August, there have been 298 new COVID-19 cases reported this month in Aroostook County. Active cases in the County are estimated to be around 190, as of Thursday. Presque Isle area schools have made masks mandatory after four students tested positive for COVID-19 in the first week after classes opened. Northern Maine continues to have among the highest transmission rates of COVID-19 in the state in the past few weeks. Penobscot County added 90 new cases on Thursday. Rural Somerset County recorded 29 new infections. Maine hospitals are seeing the highest number of critical COVID-19 cases in four months. CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said Thursday there are 133 people hospitalized with the disease in Maine. Fifty-nine of those patients are in intensive care and 27 are on ventilators.”

Test positivity:

The South is now fiddling and diddling at more or less the same level, and the enormous drop in the West indeed turned out to be reporting problems.

NEW Hospitalization (CDC): Dammit, this one’s gone dark; the last data I see is for the week of August 14. I wish CDC wouldn’t do this. Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

The Gulf Coast is red, but moderating. Several states in the West is pink and increasing, except for Colorado, which is red.

“U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations hit eight-month high over 100,000” [Reuters]. “The number of coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals has breached 100,000, the highest level in eight months, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, as a resurgence of COVID-19 spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant strains the nation’s health care system…. U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past month. Over the past week, more than 500 people with COVID were admitted to hospitals each hour on average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…. The U.S. South is the epicenter of the latest outbreak but hospitalizations are rising nationwide.”

Deaths (Our World in Data):

Deaths on trend rising. (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. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

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.

* * *


“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

Capitol Seizure

“‘She was posing a threat’ — Capitol officer Michael Byrd, who shot pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt, goes public” [CNN]. • Cops always say that.

UPDATE “What was Trump’s role during the Capitol riot? The House plans to find out” [NBC]. “On Wednesday, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol demanded that various federal agencies hand over documents related to the riot. The numerous requests target then-President Donald Trump, members of Trump’s family, members of Congress and congressional staff members, among others. These questions are key because almost all legal violations (with a few exceptions) require that the accused acted with some degree of intent or knowledge. The specifics of these demands suggest that the big questions on the minds of committee members are what did Trump — and White House officials — know about the attack on the Capitol, and when did they know it? These questions are key because almost all legal violations (with a few exceptions) require that the accused acted with some degree of intent or knowledge. The law, for obvious reasons, treats accidental injuries differently from those inflicted intentionally.”

Biden Administration

“Obama says he’s ‘heartbroken’ after attack in Kabul” [CNN]. • Oh, Barry. I’m so sorry.

“Who Takes the Blame?” [The Atlantic]. “Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan is one that a large majority of Americans favor, and have for years. It’s something he’s long wanted to do. In 2009, he spoke privately to Barack Obama about the then-president’s plans to temporarily add 30,000 troops to the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As he walked with Obama from the White House residence into the Oval Office, Biden tried to dissuade the president from a ‘surge’ that proved to be a futile attempt to beat back the Taliban. Warning Obama about the advice coming from the military, Biden said: ‘If you let them roll you, you’ll be their puppy for the next four years,’ according to a person familiar with the conversation. ‘Joe, I’d like to see you be president for five minutes to see how you’d do it,’ this person said was Obama’s reply.” • Looks like Barry remembered that conversation, and just settled the score.

UPDATE “Biden shedding support from independent voters as Delta variant spreads – Reuters poll” [Reuters]. “President Joe Biden is shedding support from independents, a crucial voting bloc that helped Democrats win the White House and Congress last year, as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases slows the country’s return to normal from the pandemic, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows…. The national opinion poll, conducted Aug. 13-19, found that Biden’s net approval among independents dropped by 14 percentage points overall since June, and by 19 points for his handling of the coronavirus. Still, a slim majority of independents – 53% – said they approve of Biden’s pandemic response.” • Better get some horse’s heads ready for those moderate nine Democrats, then, and ram the reconciliation bill through. No time to waste (and bipartisanship didn’t buy a thing on the infrastructure bill so forget about it.)

“How Vaccine Mandates Can Promote Police Reform” [Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine]. “The public-health benefits of a vaccine mandate are obvious enough. The subtler, but longer-lasting, effect of the mandate would be to push out police officers who refuse vaccines. While most police officers are trying to protect people and treat the public fairly, a disturbingly large minority are authoritarian bullies with overtly or covertly racist beliefs. The central obstacle to reforming police practices, and restoring trust between Black communities and the people entrusted with their protection, is ridding departments of their worst members. Police unions often make it virtually impossible to remove or even discipline abusive cops. If cops decide to walk away over the vaccine mandate, they’ll have accomplished what decades of reform efforts have failed to do: weed out the most dangerous cops.'” • See, if only we clear out the bad apples… Theory of change aside, this is yet another example of the increasingly obvious liberal Democrat tendency to wish death and suffering on their political opponents as a means to an end (while simultaneously managing to keep their hands, and more importantly their self-images, clean. “They did it to themselves because they did not obey us!”)

Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE In Minneapolis, Democrat loyalists embrace Republican talking points to smear a police reform bill, what a surprise. Thread:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Time’s Up: Boss quits over ties to scandal-hit governor Andrew Cuomo” [BBC]. “Tina Tchen, the head of anti-sexual harassment campaign group Time’s Up, has resigned over its ties to scandal-hit New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Ms Tchen, a lawyer and the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama, reportedly offered advice to Mr Cuomo as he battled to keep his job…. Ms Tchen is not the first major figure from Time’s Up to have resigned over a connection with the US politician.” • Some say “cynical,” some say “realistic”….

Stats Watch

Consumer Confidence: “Final August 2021 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Shows A Stunning Loss Of Confidence” [Econintersect]. “The final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for August came in at 70.3, little changed from the preliminary’s 70.2, and significantly down from July’s 81.2…. Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, makes the following comments: ‘There was no lessening in late August in the extent of the collapse in consumer sentiment recorded in the first half of the month. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 13.4% from July, recording the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade.'” • That’s not good. And I can’t imagine it’s Afghanistan.

Leading Indicators: “20 August 2021 ECRI’s WLI Growth Rate Decline Continues” [Econintersect]. “ECRI’s WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward continues to decline but remains in expansion…. This index accurately forecast that the economy would be in expansion year-over-year in the first and second quarters of 2021. It is currently forecasting an ever slowing rate of economic growth for the rest of this year and into next.”

Inflation: “July 2021 Real Income And Expenditures – Inflation Continues To Impact” [Econintersect]. “The data continues to be affected by the pandemic as comparisons are to the recovery period one year ago with inflation significantly impacting growth as it is now 4.2 %.”

* * *

Shipping: “Frustrated shippers and logistics operators are turning to increasingly creative strategies to get around long delays in container shipping markets. Trucking and logistics provider Schneider National is taking an unusual dive into the use of ship charters….with the use of dedicated general cargo ships to get goods and the company’s intermodal containers across the Pacific” [Wall Street Journal]. “The operation is the first of its kind for Schneider, and it highlights the growing urgency at companies facing long delays, tight capacity and skyrocketing rates on trans-Pacific lanes. Direct shippers Walmart, Home Depot and most recently Dollar Tree have turned to dedicated charter operations to move goods around the bottlenecks.” • Turning boats into bridges…

Shipping: “Growing numbers of companies are looking to the skies for a way around the unrelenting disruptions that have locked down supply chains. Businesses including apparel brand owner VF and children’s clothing maker Carter’s have sharply scaled up their airfreight spending… as they try to meet strong consumer demand amid ongoing production delays and acute congestion in maritime operations” [Wall Street Journal]. “The move toward air transport carries big financial questions for shippers as rates remain high and capacity is tight because carriers are operating fewer passenger flights than before the pandemic. But skyrocketing ocean container rates may be closing the gap with airfreight prices, and U.S. importers fear their store shelves will be bare this fall without quick action.”

Supply Chain: “The global supply chain, it turns out, can be squeezed into a single hot tub. Bullfrog Spas has seen demand for its devices soar during the pandemic as homebound consumers upgraded their backyards and sought relief from a stressful environment” [Wall Street Journal]. “On a typical day, its Herriman, Utah, factory takes delivery of 40,000 gallons of chemicals, 400 sheets of plastic and up to 60,000 additional components, some from as close as 80 miles away but many from far-flung suppliers. For its M9 model, parts come from seven countries and 14 states, and the company estimates they travel a cumulative 887,776 miles to make one hot tub.” • Not fragile at all!

Tech: “Apple will change its App Store practices in legal settlement” [MarketWatch]. “Apple Inc. will change its App Store policies in a legal settlement, the first major concession the iPhone maker has made amid multiple antitrust investigations. In a proposed settlement of a 2019 class-action lawsuit from developers, Apple AAPL, 0.56% agreed to allow app makers to direct their consumers to payment options outside the App Store, which could allow them to avoid paying fees of up to 30% that Apple charges developers for online purchases in iOS apps. The company also agreed to a democratic approach to the App Store’s search function, greater pricing freedom and an annual transparency report about the companies’ app-review policies and their effects. Perhaps the biggest concession from Apple would let developers finally communicate directly with customers about alternative payment options, with their permission, using information collected inside their apps. The changes apply to developers worldwide — not just small developers in the U.S. covered by the settlement.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 53 Neutral (previous close: 39 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 23 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 27 at 1:41pm.

The Biosphere

UPDATE “The EPA is banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used on food crops, after 14 years of pressure from environmental and labor groups” [The Conversation]. “As evidence accumulated that low levels of chlorpyrifos were probably toxic to humans, regulatory scientists at the EPA and in California reviewed it – but they took very different paths. At first, both groups focused on the established toxicity mechanism: acetylcholinesterase inhibition. They reasoned that preventing significant disruption of this key enzyme would protect people from any other neurological effects. Scientists working under contract for Dow Chemical, which manufactured chlorpyrifos, published a complex model in 2014 to estimate how much of the pesticide a person would have to consume or inhale to trigger acetylcholinesterase inhibition. But some of their equations were based on data from as few as six healthy adults who had swallowed capsules of chlorpyrifos during experiments in the 1970s and early 1980s – a research method that now would be considered unethical. California scientists questioned whether risk assessments based on the Dow-funded model adequately accounted for uncertainty and human variability. They also wondered whether acetylcholinesterase inhibition was really the most sensitive biological effect. In 2016 the EPA released a reassessment of chlorpyrifos’s potential health effects that took a very different approach. It focused on epidemiological studies published from 2003 through 2014 at Columbia University that found developmental impacts in children exposed to chlorpyrifos. The Columbia researchers analyzed chlorpyrifos levels in the umbilical cord blood at birth, and the EPA attempted to back-calculate how much chlorpyrifos the babies might have been exposed to throughout pregnancy.” • “Scientists working under contract for Dow Chemical” is not a contradiction in terms?

UPDATE Giving the planet a breather:

Health Care

On the public health establishment:

And NIH:

And FDA:

That thread was set off by an Yglesias post (but I’ll be damned if I’ll pay to read Yglesias).

From 2020, everything’s going according to plan:

“Airborne transmission of respiratory viruses” [Science (allan)]. Magisterial and readable. From Abstract: “[Reviews] recent advances in understanding airborne transmission gained from studying the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and other respiratory pathogens. The authors suggest that airborne transmission may be the dominant form of transmission for several respiratory pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, and that further understanding of the mechanisms underlying infection from the airborne route will better inform mitigation measures.” • Extremely measured language that translates to “Get the [family blog] going!” Long, but well worth a read (especially if, at 12-pages long, you need something impressive to drop at your school board meeting).

“Show Me the Data!” [Zeynep Tufecki, New York Times]. “To see the dangers of insufficient data and the powers of appropriate data, consider the case of dexamethasone, an inexpensive generic corticosteroid drug. In the early days of the pandemic, doctors were warned against using it to treat Covid patients.” • So, today they would be dogpiled for spreading misinformation. More: “The limited literature from SARS and MERS — illnesses related to Covid — suggested that steroids, which suppress the immune system, would harm rather than help Covid patients.” That assessment changed on June 16, 2020, when the results of a large-scale randomized clinical trial from Britain, one of all too few such efforts during the pandemic, demonstrated that dexamethasone was able to reduce deaths by one-fifth among patients needing supplemental oxygen and an astonishing one-third among those on ventilators.” • Fortunately, Trump didn’t endorse dexamethasone, or the PMC would have lost their minds, RCT or no RCT. Finally: “To cut through this fog of pandemic more effectively, we need to invest in a national infrastructure to coordinate and encourage systematic data collection.” • I will be interested to see if the reconciliation bill includes such an investment. I’m long stupid on this.

“Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but no infection parties, please” [Science]. We linked to this preprint in 8/26, so I’m pleased to see Science hoist it. That said, here are the qualifications: “‘The differences are huge,” says Thålin, although she cautions that the numbers for infections and other events analyzed for the comparisons were ‘small.’ For instance, the higher hospitalization rate in the 32,000-person analysis was based on just eight hospitalizations in a vaccinated group and one in a previously infected group. And the 13-fold increased risk of infection in the same analysis was based on just 238 infections in the vaccinated population, less than 1.5% of the more than 16,000 people, versus 19 reinfections among a similar number of people who once had SARS-CoV-2…. ‘We continue to underestimate the importance of natural infection immunity … especially when [infection] is recent,’ says Eric Topol, a physician-scientist at Scripps Research. ‘And when you bolster that with one dose of vaccine, you take it to levels you can’t possibly match with any vaccine in the world right now.'” • It remains to be seen how long this natural immunity can last. Another missing data point: The actual number of people already infected in the United States. Since our testing system is so miserably inadequate, we have no idea. I would imagine it’s a large number, especially among essential workers.

“Episode 213: Aint Free Yet But Close” (podcast) [Trillbilly Worker’s Party]. • At 58:44, a discussion starts that shows how hard the health care establishment makes it for the pro-vax to support vaccination. Or to defend the administration.

Our Famously Free Press

“How the FDA Manipulates the Media” [Scientific American]. From October 2016, still germane: “It was a faustian bargain—and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR’s reporter could and couldn’t interview….. NPR took the deal. “I’ll be at the briefing,” [NPR reporter Rob Stein] wrote… Later that day in April 2014, Stein—along with reporters from more than a dozen other top-tier media organizations, including CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—showed up at a federal building to get his reward. Every single journalist present had agreed not to ask any questions of sources not approved by the government until given the go-ahead.” • Under [genuflects] Obama, one notes.

Feral Hog Watch

“Labour shortages leave UK farms with 70,000 surplus pigs” [Financial Times]. “The UK’s pig producers have warned they are weeks away from culling healthy animals after labour shortages in abattoirs caused a backlog of 70,000 surplus animals on farms. The National Pig Association is the latest group to sound the alarm over the effects on its members from a lack of workers that has hit food production and haulage, with knock-on effects to many UK supply chains. Zoe Davies, chief executive of the association, said some slaughterhouses were running as much as a quarter below normal capacity, leaving about 15,000 extra pigs per week stuck on farms.” • I suppose we can’t just let them loose…

Naked Capitalism Cooking Community™

Seems like the people who wrote the droplet textbooks are writing cooking history too:

The whole thread is interesting. These people really care about spices!

Class Warfare

“Anger boils over at People magazine owner after workers stiffed on bonuses” [New York Post]. “The boss of the media giant that publishes People and Entertainment Weekly sparked a ruckus when he announced he was handing out a round of “thank you” bonuses to most employees — but meanwhile jilted a small group of unionized, rank-and-file workers, The Post has learned. Insiders said more than 200 unionized employees at Meredith — the publishing behemoth whose titles also include Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle and Real Simple — are fuming because they aren’t getting the $1,000, one-time cash bump, despite working long hours and taking on more work during the pandemic.”

Hysteris coming:

UPDATE “Frito Lay Strike: Sign of a Growing Fightback” [Socialist Alternative]. “The strike ended on July 23 when a majority of union members voted “yes” to a revised contract that guaranteed all workers at least one day off per week. However, the vote was purportedly close, according to one union official. Two days prior to the end of the strike, multiple workers on the picket line were not satisfied with the revised contract being offered and were planning to vote “no.” The new contract does not put an end to forced overtime, and the proposed wage increases are still insufficient. Multiple workers expressed a need to continue fighting to get what they need. This particular struggle is occurring in the context of the shameful treatment of workers by U.S.corporations during the pandemic. It also comes in the context of a growing fightback by workers. There have been several other large strikes during the summer, some of which are still ongoing, including the St. Vincent’s strike in Massachusetts and the coal miners at Warrior Met in Alabama. The Frito-Lay strike caused a shortage of products throughout the entire Kansas City region. This shows the power of an organized workplace, where workers can win by hitting the boss where it hurts: their profits. While the gains made by this strike were very limited, the workers’ willingness to fight in their own interests was no doubt part of the inspiration for the ongoing strike of Oreo and Chips Ahoy workers at Nabisco plants. Major unions should throw their weight behind supporting these strikes, as a victory in any workplace can have a tremendous ripple effect, giving confidence to workers across the country to fight back.”

UPDATE “The Epic Family Feud Behind an Iconic American Weight-Loss Camp for Kids” [Bloomberg]. “Until its abrupt closure this summer, Camp Shane was America’s longest-running weight-loss camp for kids. Thousands of children trekked to those 42 acres in Ferndale, Sullivan County, from 1968 to 2019, when the camp relocated. They lost weight together, usually regained it, and returned to lose it all again. Fad diets and fitness crazes came and went, but Shane was a constant. At its peak it hosted more than 500 campers, enrolled the children of celebrities, and netted $2 million a year for its owner. … A lucrative enterprise will create enemies, and Camp Shane has made many. Alumni bitter about the deprivation they experienced, and a few who now allege more serious abuses. Competitors who swiped trade secrets and poached campers. But the bitterest rivalries were among members of the Ettenberg clan, who carried on a multidecade feud that included the alleged theft of a grandchild’s safari souvenirs, acrimonious lawsuits, a suspected arson attempt, the eviction of another grandchild, a crashed bar mitzvah, a possible IRS tipoff leading to a felony tax evasion conviction, disinheritance, and the endowment of a multimillion-dollar foundation whose beneficiaries have included a charity that provides helper monkeys.” • American gentry.

UPDATE “On Design Thinking” [n+1]. From 2019, still germane. “By embracing “design thinking,” we attribute to design a kind of superior epistemology: a way of knowing, of “solving,” that is better than the old and local and blue-collar and municipal and unionized and customary ways. We bring in “design thinkers” — some of them designers by trade, many of them members of adjacent knowledge fields — to “empathize” with Kaiser hospital nurses, Gainesville city workers, church leaders, young mothers, and guerrilla fighters the world over. Often, as in Gainesville, the implicit goal is to elevate the class bases of the institutions that have organized their informants’ lives. Only within this new epistemology can such achievements be considered unambiguously good.” • I had no idea that the concept of “wicked problems” originated in the “design community.” I’m not sure this article is a hammer for any particular nail, but it’s a good piece of intellectual history.

News of the Wired

““Rewilding Your Attention” [Clive Thompson]. “Instead of crowding your attention with what’s already going viral on the intertubes, focus on the weird stuff. Hunt down the idiosyncratic posts and videos that people are publishing, oftentimes to tiny and niche audiences. It’s decidedly unviral culture — but it’s more likely to plant in your mind the seed of a rare, new idea. I love the idea of ‘rewilding your attention’. It puts a name on something I’ve been trying to do for a while now: To stop clicking on the stuff big-tech algorithms push at me.” • The blogs are still out there!

* * *

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

paddlingwithoutboats writes:

These are from Vancouver Island, one of the parks. Unfortunately, hereabouts, park is code for dog poop parade ground. Sad contrast. And now we’re ‘opened up again’, (gag language, sounds like how a resistant sexual target would be described), so we now have the double deck diesel tour busses fogging the city. Cruise ships are coming.

But the trees are around and hosting lovely ecosystems.

The fungi:

The first may be an incarnation of the second, they were close, a shelf fungus. Stroking the underside of the shelf form was incredible; firm but unbelievably silky, like infant skin or earlobes. Strikingly white without a blemish.

* * *

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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. Samuel Conner

    > Cooking time for Florida’s data seems to have increased.

    It looks like there’s a small increment downward from the 6th to 5th day day prior to the last point in the Florida trace; that would be consistent with continued once/week reporting with, by chance, a small change in the weekly averages.

      1. John Zelnicker

        I noticed that Alabama really stands out on the Rapid Riser charts with slowing increases.

        It likely that’s because we’ve had such an incredible surge in infections in the last few weeks that it has to slow down eventually with so much of the population either infected (more) or vaccinated (less). Our hospitals are full to overflowing and temporary morgues have been brought in to Birmingham and Mobile.

        Cullman, where Trump had his recent rally, has already closed down 5 schools due to infections and quarantine, possibly due to the rally.

        If we continue to follow last year’s trends through the fall and winter as IM Doc suggested elsewhere, it’s going to be a horror show.

        1. ambrit

          It is looking like the first months of the Covid back in 2020 ’round here.
          People are driving the streets like it’s a bumper cars ride. Lots of very loud auto, and even, the other day, motorcycle radios. Lots of impromptu drag racing action on the main drags (pun organic to the nomenclature.) [Though I have yet to hear anybody yell out: “I’ve got the Pink Slip in it!”]
          Masking has receded back to being the provenance of oldsters and ‘wierdos.’
          Our hospitals are stressed, per my medical oriented informants. Yet, no one is mentioning this “out loud” as it were. The denial is profound.
          This societal denialism reminds me of the beginning of Murnau’s “Faust,” with the townspeople running wild in response to the pestilence ravaging their lives.
          Stay safe down there on The Coast!
          [Oh bugger. Now we have a hurricane to worry about.]
          Be sweet!

          1. The Rev Kev

            Say safe over there, ambrit. I have been reading that this storm is big. Time to batten down the hatches.

            1. ambrit

              Thank you. We won’t be in very much danger, barring unforseen changes in the movement of this “weather phenomenon.” We’re spinning the prayer wheels for our middle daughter. She lives just to the west of Baton Rouge. That’s the projected path of the centre of the storm.
              Stay safe all. Remember, this is just a curiousity to most reading here. However, such events are always signs and portents to the discerning. For one thing, disaster uncovers the core of one’s character. The wise use the disasters of others to aid in the contemplation of self. Empathy is one of Terran human kind’s greatest strengths.
              Again, be safe.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > This societal denialism reminds me of the beginning of Murnau’s “Faust,” with the townspeople running wild in response to the pestilence ravaging their lives.

            Or the Masque of the Red Death as a parable of inverted totalitarianism: This time, every citizen is a Prince, and the gates that are welded shut are in people’s heads.

            1. ambrit

              Aye, and every Oligarch’s beadle has Machiavelli’s “The Prince” as his chap book.
              Stay safe around the college crowd up there. If they are anything like those down here…..

        2. Yves Smith

          Rapid Riser chart all wrong. We’ve been running at a mid-3000ish 7 day average. Alabama does data catchup 1x or 2x a month, we have regular big spikes.

          Aug 26: >11,000 new cases
          Aug 27 >5,000 new cases.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Yves – I’ve noticed the spikes in Mobile County reporting so I’m not surprised that it’s statewide.

            I always appreciate clarifications.

      2. RockHard

        Agreed on the increment down. It does seem like nationwide, the rate of infection is slowing.

        I was wondering though, what data goes into rapid risers? The fact that FL reports differently makes the data odd – I guess in the next couple of weeks if we see continued downward steps, then that thesis is correct.

    1. Michael

      “”Nice Image You’ve Got There. Shame If It Got Memed.””

      “…a movie[vaccine] is not only something to be taken whole and enjoyed on its own terms, it is also going to be dissected and turned into free-floating clips and memes and gifs. What’s more, the meaning and effect of these clips, memes, and gifs may very well depend more on their own formal structure and their use in our feeds than on their relation to the film[vaccine] that is their source.”

      1. Cocomaan

        Yes, I absolutely believe that this is an isolated incident. There’s not a chance that any other screwups happened.

  2. Glossolalia

    Capitol Seizure

    “‘She was posing a threat’ — Capitol officer Michael Byrd, who shot pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt, goes public” [CNN]. • Cops always say that.

    So is the argument that she wasn’t posing a threat?

    1. Keith

      I wonder if the dymanic tgat it was a black cop white criminal plays into him being able to be interviewed and his face in public, as opposed to what happened to tgat cop in Fergusion, where the race was ipposite but also considered a good shoot.

    2. CloverBee

      I’m just enjoying watching right-side media get upset about an unarmed person being shot by police while refusing to follow police instructions.

      1. lambert strether

        I’m just enjoying watching liberal Democrats cheering on a cop shooting an unarmed civilian. Of course, she wasn’t part of the coalition of the ascendant, so it’s all good.

    3. Pelham

      Tucker Carlson has shown video of the Babbitt shooting several times, but I can never quite make out what’s happening. I think what I see is that she’s about to step through a broken window when she suddenly falls back. There appears to be no one on the other side, so it’s hard to understand how she would have posed an imminent threat to anyone. But, again, maybe I’m not getting the right picture.

      1. barefoot charley

        It seems like she was slithering through the busted-out window frame, which wasn’t much wider than she, so she had a slow go of it.

        1. John

          And at the end of the day the woman is still dead and the police officer has to live with his action. It is a miracle that there were not more such happenings.

      2. Objective Ace

        Its not necessarily that she was a threat, its herd mentality that was the threat (and she could have unlocked/unbarricaded the door allowing a massive flow of protesters through). At that point a single officer–even with a gun–is not enough

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            The Capitol Building is an Historic Site, there’d be hell to pay if you shot up the plaster.

      3. voteforno6

        She was at the front of a violent mob that was trying to break into the U.S. Capitol. There were members of Congress that the police officer was trying to protect. What would’ve happened had she gotten through, undoubtedly followed by a lot more of the people behind her? At that time, what stood between them and the people that the police were trying to protect? I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure that Tucker Carlson and apologists like him don’t want you and other viewers to know either. It was an extremely chaotic situation, and if that police officer thought that the mob posed an imminent threat to the people in that building, it would be understandable why he would fire his gun.

        1. ambrit

          I’m not sure how to parse your comment. If you mean that killing the woman was the full investiture of the Police State, then I’m your man. If you believe that the mob was a serious threat to the Republic, then I must disagree.
          I do agree with you that the killing of the woman in broad daylight, and no repercussions accruing to the shooter, and the uniformed organization he was part of, constituted a turning point in the history of the Republic. The myth of Equal Justice For All died along with Mz Babbitt.
          The Capitol Police were not prepared to deal with that mob and demonstrated that the default position of the police forces in America is now shoot first and ask questions later, if at all. This is the ethos of authoritarians the world over.
          Also, harking back to the end of the Allende regime in Chile, I must note that there are supposedly photographs of Allende toting a submachine gun at the Preasidential Palace just before the end. Our American paragons of virtue signalling hid under their desks. Not a good look for the Establishment.

          1. Procopius

            The myth of Equal Justice For All died along with Mz Babbitt.

            Oh, dear. The myth has never died, but my belief in it died when I was a little kid.

            1. ambrit

              Good point, but I must observe that this happened to a card carrying member of the American Middle Class. A small business woman and entrepreneuer, she was a poster child for the Aspiring Class. This shows the “backbone of the Republic” that they and their isues are viewed and treated with contempt by the Oligarchs and their henchthings.
              As mentioned elsewhere, most serious revolutions rely on factionalism in the enabling classes for impetus and support. We have visibly crossed a threshold with this killing. Some of the Capitol Police recognized the dynamic at play here and attempted to “play along” with the demonstrating daytrippers. Events spun out of control. Such was not inevitable. However, a uniformed representative of the governing elites chose to resort to lethal force against a cohort of the supposedly “Loyal Opposition.” This event and it’s implications will not be spun nor forgotten.
              At the time, some of us made reference to the conscious mythologization of Horst Wessel as a ‘martyr’ during the early days of National Socialism in 1930s Germany and the possible modern recreation of such a mytholigization centered upon Mz. Babbitt. That supposition is still valid.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        Babbitt, who was unarmed, was attempting to climb through a broken window. I guess that’s in the same league to selling a loosie, passing a counterfeit bill, or making a sudden movement at a traffic stop, so it’s obviously OK to whack her.

        Eyewitness account for somebody who caught the whole thing on film:

        By no means did I see her bash in a window or even break the windows. Somebody else did that, for sure. But then all of a sudden, I see her start trying to climb through the window, and I’m like, “Don’t go in there, don’t go in there,” but I know she could not hear me. So my thought was to get that moment on camera. I wanted to show the gun firing, and the bullet hitting her, and how she dropped to the ground. All of this is going through my mind at that moment, because I knew that this was going to be the only record of how she would have died. Because I knew she was going to die. The guy who was pointing a gun at her was leaning with an intent to shoot; he was not playing. There’s difference between holding a gun up and warning somebody versus, like, really leaning into it. I was like, all right, I’m going to show the world why she died. And I’m not going to let her death go in vain. Because I didn’t think that she deserved to die. She didn’t have a weapon. She didn’t have anything. This is what I’m thinking about in this moment, in this small sliver of time.

        The eyewitness, John Sullivan, seems to have been turned in by his own brother and charged by the Feds. Sullivan seems like weirdly equivocal figure, a provacateur> without necessarily being an agent. Certainly a lot of characters in his story! However, so far as I know, nobody was claimed his film is fake (although I don’t have time to match the video against the prose version, above; I’d want to check the camera angles for the claim about the shooter).

    4. The Rev Kev

      The guy reckons that he – allegedly – gave commands but in all that ruckus who would have heard him? There was hardly a time gap where he stepped forward, shot her at point blank range because “he was in fear of his lie” and stepped back. Thing is, he was the only one there that shot someone. None of the other police did anything like that, including the ones that were directly behind him. Now why was that? He said about that “I’m sure it was a terrifying situation. I can only control my reaction, my training, my level of expertise. That would be upon them to speak for themselves.” And the guy said that he would do it again. As justification, some s*hitlibs are saying that maybe he was afraid that her backpack was full of explosives and she was a suicide-bomber or something. What do you call it when you kill someone?


      1. SusanS

        I agree with you and Lambert. Come on man. If she was trying to slither through a window, he could have given her a warning first.

  3. voislav

    I’ve said it in the past, but it bears repeating. We have to be cautious when interpreting reinfection rates for vaccinated vs. previously infected people, since the two groups are not equal. Vaccinated group has not been culled of its weakest members unlike previously infected group. US case death rate is 1.6%, so very close to that 1.5% reinfection rate for vaccinated people.

    Additionally, antibody response is dependent on the severity of the infection. There is going to be selection bias in the previously infected group towards people who are symptomatic, as many asymptomatic people never get tested. So by selecting test groups based on the positive test is likely to oversample symptomatic infections with higher antibody response.

    There is not much choice with regards to group member selection, but we still need to be aware of this when interpreting the data. I would be very reluctant to make any generalization regarding vaccinated vs. immune immune response base on any studies I’ve seen so far since the reinfection rates for all of these were in 1-2% range. We need more time to see if these rates will go up and show a significant difference from the case death rate.

    1. Carolinian

      Well then can we at least assume that if you have had Covid and are not dead you have better immunity than if you had been vaccinated and are not dead? I’m not sure the purpose of the study was to encourage people to go get Covid as an alternative to the vaccine.

      Probably the relevance of the study is to suggest that if you have provably had Covid then you don’t need the vaccine even if getting the vaccine might make you even less likely to get the symptomatic Covid you are unlikely to get.

    2. marku52

      Good points. Strange that the people writing these studies haven’t figured this out. Med/Pharma/Public Health all looking incompetent throughout this.

      Or corrupt in the case of Pharma.

      1. Phillip Allen

        Oh, it’s a trifecta of corruption, you can be certain. There is too much money involved for it to be otherwise. So many rice bowls that need topping up. Plus, a fantastically opaque system of baroque complexity that begs to be gamed, grifted, conned (property law and the tax code particularly, but it’s really all of a piece). It is probably true that in balance Pharma is more profoundly corrupt than Medicine, with people who go into the thankless and forever underfunded work of Pubic Health being the least venal.

        Lack of capacity and competence of every kind is thick on the ground here in the Shining City On The Hill.

        1. John

          When your only object is profit and padding executive compensation, is there anything that is out of bounds. I cite pushing opioids as an example. I cannot understand how those responsible were not charged with negligent homicide for openers.

          And Pfizer wants to raise their prices.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>I cannot understand how those responsible were not charged with negligent homicide for openers.

            Not to be cynical or anything, but I believe bribes can get you almost anything.

  4. DeborahCollins

    –>”‘rewilding your attention’. It puts a name on something I’ve been trying to do for a while now: To stop clicking on the stuff big-tech algorithms push”

    Here’s a quarter century old iconoclastic site that is about as untech as one can get and which launched thousands of imitators:


      1. Carolinian

        Good news on building materials in that lumber prices locally at HD and Lowes are almost back to “normal.”

        Also, yay Whole Earth Catalog.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        I have just rescued a solid pine chest of drawers left on a curbside in my neighborhood. A simple repair to one of its drawer runners and it will be good as new. Probably built 50 years ago. Nothing fancy but will last another 100 years, at least.

        And it will certainly outlive anything made of particle board and plastic.

        The amount of junk capitalism produces is astounding.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Capitalism produced that solid pine chest of drawers left on a curbside in your neighborhood.

          Now capitalism produces an astounding amount of junk.

          What has changed capitalism over the last 50 years from a maker of solid pine chests of drawers to a maker of astounding amounts of junk?

          1. clarky90

            The family renting the house above me had to move out, because the owner and her family were moving back home.

            There was a skip parked there, full of seemingly good “stuff”. A fridge freezer, furniture etc. Of course, I could not look closely, or rummage around.

            People need to have a house (a forever home) to store their “stuff”. Otherwise, our stuff ends up in landfills, on the street, in op shops….., as litter……

            A few years ago, I gave my youngest son a fancy second hand road bike (a Cannondale). Six months later, when he changed his job, his rented flat and his city, he just gave the Cannondale away to a friend. What could he do?

            Son, daughter in law, cat and all their most valued belongings had to fit into a little Corolla for the move to the North Island. Most of their “stuff” was “Marie Kondoed” (the Cannondale bike had failed to spark sufficient joy”!).

            People fail to grasp the utter, unfolding tragedy of unaffordable houses and rents. Houses are human habitat- and it is vanishing………

          2. Rod

            What has changed capitalism

            For its M9 model, parts come from seven countries and 14 states, and the company estimates they travel a cumulative 887,776 miles to make one hot tub.” • Not fragile at all!

            maybe the thinking that can see the above as fact and not travesty…

          3. LifelongLib

            “What has changed capitalism over the last 50 years…”

            50 years ago the furniture company was owned and run by people who knew furniture and wanted to make things they could be proud of. Today it’s owned by people who only care about maximizing profit and run by people whose job is to carry that out.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              50 years ago was before the onset of Forcey Free-Trade and undertaxation of the Overclass.

              Those two policy forcefield adjustments created the ownership and morality of that furniture company today.

        2. KarolaB

          That entire site is worth a good read. It’s so fundamental to environmentalism and common sense that I’m surprised to never have seen it.

          Anyone who goes out and buys new furniture, refrigerators, washing machines, clothes and many consumer items, is indeed a fool about to be separated from their money, or someone so rich that just don’t give a damn.

          There is some much great stuff being given away on ad free Craigslist and Next Door Neighbor, -warning! Massive data mining going on there-, plus other sites like Patch, that you can furnish a house for free quite easily. People are relocating everywhere. It’s cheaper to give large heavy items away than pay to move them, even with the cost of buying new, or used replacements, or better still, if you can’t get ’em free where you’re going.

          Also, why spend money dumping stuff you don’t need when a “free” sign on it at the end of the driveway means it disappears and gets reused. Or, you can monetize your junk by requesting a modest price for it.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Here is a way to get out of having to own washing machines and dryers in particular. Do your laundry at Laundromats. That’s what I do.

            The laundromat I have has washing machines that may be as strong and durable as they look. And they are at least assembled in America. Maybe their parts come from America and/or equivalent First World countries. I don’t know.

            Here is the brand of washing machines I am helping my laundromat to keep in business.

        3. Nikkikat

          My husband and I have rescued desks, chest of drawers, bookcases and even plants that were simply discarded for something “new” or people are remodeling and throw out everything including brand new watering cans etc.
          I do not ever get rid of anything until it is broken beyond repair or usefulness.
          I work around it or do with out it. I usually find that I really don’t need it anyway.
          What ever happened to conservation…..

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            while contemplating my mom lamenting that she needs $8k worth of new furniture(which i consider a good chunk of Tractor Money), wife and i reflect that neither of us has ever actually purchased a piece of furniture.
            like, in our whole lives.
            somebody’s always getting rid of a couch.

            and as far as liberating building materials that other people toss…well…i should prolly write a book.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              , and, after perusing that website a bit…i should add an important tip:
              when building stuff with other people’s trash lumber, i rarely even use a measuring tape…after years and years of doing this, mind you.
              when cousin was up for early pandemic(he’s a building contractor) he just couldn’t grasp how i was doing it.
              the 10-12′ sections of telephone poles are all different dimensions at the tops and and at the bottoms, so his usual methods were frustrated by math problems(all is trapezoidal,lol).
              i lay the long boards on the ground to show where the posts go(because the former are all different lengths—it’s trash), set the posts and only cut the structural boards(rafters and such) after they’re screwed up there.
              otherwise, you spend a lot of time figgerin and frettin.
              the materials dictate the building…a sort of zen process….organic, growing up out of the ground…cousin cussed and muttered, kept trying to prove i was doing it wrong…but the woodshed, 2 story goat barn, and the bar and bar porch we built will outlive us all…and would be hard to dismantle, if someone wanted to…and indeed, have already endured 70 mph wind events.
              he finally admitted that my method had madness in it, but that it was more robust than the way he does it at work…and has a certain style to it(not for everybody…like my mother, lol…wouldn’t pass muster with a HOA fer sure.).

              1. Objective Ace

                If you ever decide to video your process–I’d love to see it if your willing to post to youtube (or somewhere else). Sounds super interesting!

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            I remember once seeing a couple-hundred-pound solid oak desk by the side of the street in the rich part of town.

            But it was too big and heavy for me to get it home on my bicycle.

      3. Peter VE

        I just picked up a bunch of shelves the neighbor was throwing out. It isn’t the first, and won’t be the last. A little putty and paint, and they’ll be another bookshelf in our house.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I haven’t seen this site for at least 10 years. Either my memory is bad, or this site has gotten bigger since the last time I saw it.

      This advice and information looks highly actionable and weaponizable. And it is certainly disseminable by means as easy as sending it to various people.

    2. ghoda

      At the bottom of the page, the site says that they do not solicit ads money etc, but on my computer, firefox detects and blocks two entries on the home page.
      Nothing appeared in the list for the other pages I visited.
      Could someone clarify whats going on?

      1. sd

        Sounds like they have a sitemeter to count visits and where those visits come from so they know who is linking to them, which search engine sent someone and what search terms they used to find the site.

  5. Tom Doak

    In addition to some state governments not trying too hard to get accurate data on the number of new cases, I think there is also significant underreporting because people are testing themselves at home, and maybe isolating off the grid if they test positive. That’s been the case in my own family — four [breakthrough] positives, but none officially logged. Home testing has ramped up to the degree that where I live, the big box stores and pharmacies just keep running out of home tests, and I doubt that’s all because they are being stockpiled by someone.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > there is also significant underreporting because people are testing themselves at home, and maybe isolating off the grid if they test positive.

      Makes sense. One more thing we have chosen not know.

    2. petal

      I went to at least 6 pharmacies today(all the different chains and grocery stores) and every single one had a display full of those Abbott BinaxNOW home testing kits. I’d never seen them before. Buying one is as easy as buying a bag of chips. You could buy one, test, and nobody would know.
      O/T: They were also asking all the women in line for jabs “Any chance of pregnancy?”, and none of the places had a single dose of J&J. Just pfizer or moderna.

  6. zagonostra

    >“How the FDA Manipulates the Media

    No amount of TV news watching or MSM reading will give you the information that you need to make an informed decision on whether or not to get a vaccine. Read trusted sources, see where their funding is coming from, see who is paying the authors of reports, listen to your own doctor but don’t blindly listen to her without questions. Do not become an expert TV watcher, it will only deliver you to land of confusion and obfuscation.

    “It was a faustian bargain—and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. Stein—along with reporters from more than a dozen other top-tier media organizations, including CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—showed up at a federal building to get his reward. Every single journalist present had agreed not to ask any questions of sources not approved by the government until given the go-ahead.”

  7. thoughtful person

    I’ve been thinking a bit about the covid19 numbers here in the usa. First, have to say the data is crappy since the u.s. cdc advised vaccinated individuals to not bother with testing etc. However, looking at today’s weekly report [ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html ] from the cdc we can see that the current wave will likely peak next week or the following at about 148 to 150 thousand cases per day.

    Now I am pretty confident that with respiratory diseases like coronavirus, the environment plays a big roll in transmission (AKA flu season, indoor vs outdoor transmission etc). So it is important to compare today’s wave numbers with last summer’s, and you can see the states leading last summer are once again doing so 365 (or so) days later. Here’s the cdcs text:
    “The current 7-day moving average is 107.2% higher compared to the peak observed on July 20, 2020 (68,522). The current 7-day moving average is 44.1% lower than the peak observed on January 10, 2021 (253,932)”

    So, we are doing about 2x worse than last Summer. At this rate, I would project a peak this Winter of 500,000 cs per week in the usa.

    One tiny bit of good news, the death rate per case may be slightly lower, we’ll know in a few weeks when this Summer’s wave peak in that metric.

  8. ambrit

    Let’s give all the “excess” pigs to Boris Johnson and the Bullingdon Boys. They know what to do with them. They’ve been doing the same to England. Today if would be, “The Hellfire Gentleman’s Club?”

  9. Jen

    File under public health or Maine Covid – I’m vacationing in the Augusta, ME are for a couple of weeks. Had a sore throat for the past few so I decided to look into a covid test. Was able to schedule a free antigen test at a Walgreens 10 miles away. Despite being for-warned that I would need to provide ID an insurance card and a copy of the email confirming my appointment, when I pulled up to the pharmacy drive through, I just gave them my name and received my Qtip and plastic vial. I was on my way in 5 minutes and had my (negative) results 45 minutes later. I could get a PCR test with results in 24 hours if I went to a walgreens that’s about 30 minutes from here.

    I’m used to relying on my work for tests and was very pleased with how easy it was to secure one here.

    They were doing a very brisk business. And mask wearing has definitely upped considerably since last weekend.

  10. Howard Beale IV

    During the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that for 20 years the ICBM launch codes were 00000000 to minimize delay [read more: https://buff.ly/2RManHR%5D

    1. rowlf

      You’re probably not going to like Minimum Interval Takeoffs with loaded aircraft either.

      A Minimum Interval Takeoff is a technique of the USAF for scrambling all available bomber and tanker aircraft at twelve and fifteen second intervals, respectively. Before takeoff, the aircraft perform an elephant walk to the runway. MITO is designed to maximize the number of aircraft launched in the least amount of time possible before the base faced a nuclear strike, which would obliterate all remaining aircraft.

      … and ground staff and dependents.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Let me guess. To access the system you would have used the word ‘admin’ for the account name and the word ‘password’ for the password itself.

  11. Michael Mck

    My educated guess is that the shelf mushroom is a Fomitopsis pinicola. It is considered a major pest by timber producers but may have medicinal value, especially for Hepatitis. Many related fungi such as Reshi (Ganoderma lucidum) are well known for their medicinal utility.

    1. hunkerdown

      My uneducated guess is that it’s “1/2 gallon” of Neapolitan ice cream nailed to a tree. Its main medicinal value is as a palliative for tonsilitis and depression.

  12. ambrit

    Mini-zeitgeist report:
    I tried to read the spices tweet and the platform demanded that I sign up to continue reading. No work around that I, an admitted Techno Luddite, could find. This is a most disturbing development. Am I late to this party?
    Anyway, I have read that the main active ingreedient of hot peppers (Capsaicin) temporarily anesthetizes the taste buds. That could be a ‘back door’ way to disguise the “rotting meat” problem. If you cannot remove the taste from the food, remove the sense of taste from the consumer.
    See: https://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/how-your-taste-buds-react-to-spicy-food/
    As for most spices,I have it on good authority that they are very useful in modulating the tastes of foods.
    The spice must flow!

      1. ambrit

        Ah, I had assumed that websites would use cookies, but an entire platform? Hmmm…. I am not being cynical enough it seems.
        Thanks for the idea.

        1. Procopius

          Many years ago I switched to Chrome because Firefox was having so many problems with Flash. Now I find Firefox is far superior when I’m testing Linux distros, especially in that Chrome won’t play the bird songs here, but it doesn’t feel as inviting on Windows.

  13. groovingpict

    Apologies if already posted to NC, but this is an interesting essay from The Hudson Review about the introduction of the practice of innoculation into the Anglosphere.

    While the essay could’ve been written differently and been much more effective, the chronicle of events itself is a worthwhile read for perspective’s sake. It very much needs one of Mr. Strether’s anti-triumphalist black lines drawn straight through its middle. I was disappointed with the conclusion and, for example, the way in which the current vaccine skeptics are tacitly implicated in the example of the Boston Puritans. It seems egregious that Pfizer is congratulated when the obvious focus seemed to me to be the source of the practice in cultural wisdom of Turkey and Africa and the dissenting practitioners with open minds who humbly took this seriously. I suppose we may grant the writer the possibility that this was penned before many (myself included) looked the gift horse in the mouth, if you will.

    Appreciate everything you all do here.

  14. Mikel

    “Airborne transmission of respiratory viruses” [Science]

    “Long, but well worth a read (especially if, at 12-pages long, you need something impressive to drop at your school board meeting).”

    And send it to absolutely CLUELESS HR departments salivating to get you sitting unmasked at a desk in an open space with others or a cubicle.

  15. Mikel

    “How the FDA Manipulates the Media” [Scientific American].

    Again, stop calling those types “journalists”. They are PR contractors. And that’s the most diplomatic way of stating what I think of them.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      ‘Squirming’ seems unlikely. Flushed with the thrill of insider status seems more appropriate.

  16. Jason Boxman

    So we’ve gone from bending the curve to just leave everyone to die, children included, with concomitant destruction of the lives of health care providers.

    At a Children’s Hospital, a Wave of Young Patients Struggling to Breathe

    At least it’s all painfully obvious now, if it wasn’t before.

    (Oh, and I’m sure there must be far fewer pediatric ICUs and medical staff than for adults, so this is truly going to be a train wreck.)

    Meanwhile, one family member did mange to get IVM, but it was a pretty penny (a few hundred dollars, didn’t take insurance) to see a physician locally open to the idea. Then it was only $30 at the pharmacy. Another family member found a kind of Internet pharmacy that will fill a prescription, but it’s $100 for only 20 pills.

    So this is ripe for profiteering, thanks to our gatekeeping PMC. Lovely. And that’s if you can get a prescription.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I was reading similar reports during the FLCCC weekly update on Wednesday. The Zoom chat was abuzz with stories of availability, but at astronomical prices.

    2. HotFlash

      I looked online, a company called Happy Family (or HappyFamilie, depending on where on the website you looked) offered IM’n by mail. But what would I get?

    3. lordkoos

      Here it was $150 for a month’s supply (as a prophylactic), from the only pharmacy who would fill the prescription. And some are surprised that people will turn to the veterinary product instead…

      1. JBird4049

        Well, believing that the virtuous will have money while those without virtue (AKA the poor or the Disposables) will not is the American way.

        1. ambrit

          I had always viewed Robber Baron Capitalism as a form of Old Style Eugenics. Now that RBC has grabbed a hold of our medical system, I am certain of it.

    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      Will a first world rush to market strangle the supply in the countries where it is fighting parasites?

    1. HotFlash

      Yes, but the fungus is living. Insects pro’ly in the upper branches, too. Our dying backyard apple tree is very attractive to solitary bees and to downy woodpeckers, who eat the bees. It’s the circle o’life.

      1. ambrit

        You all set me to viewing that fungus as a metaphor for our financial system. Wall Street is the fungus and we are the tree.

  17. antidlc


    Biden Weighs Speeding Up Booster-Shot Timeline by 3 Months

    President Joe Biden said his administration is considering whether to start booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine as soon as 5 months after people receive a second dose, a move that would accelerate U.S. plans by three months.

    Soon after Biden made the comments — at an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday — his spokeswoman said there had been no change in the plan to administer boosters after eight months.

    Oh, good grief.

  18. dk

    That spice thread is weird. Most of the remarks seem to come from people who are not living under adverse conditions and think that the rotting of meat/fish is the only type of food spoilage one might have to deal with. And their ideas about what counts as spices seems to be limited to regional exotics requiring expensive importation.

    Here is a little experiment, prepare a meat dish with no spices, divide into 2 bowls, take them outdoors, preferably where there are many flies, and generously sprinkle hot pepper sauce (Capsaicin) on one of them. Compare how many flies attack the spiced and the un-spiced bowls. You can try this with any spice, but results using Capsaicin tend to be unmistakably polarized. For bonus points, wait 24-36 hours and count the maggots (leftovers are not a modern invention).

    Foods (not just meat/fish) prepared with spices that contain volatile esters are generally more resistant to infestation by bugs, mould, and bacteria than respectively unspiced foods.

    My paternal grandmother, who was an herbalist’s apprentice in rural Poland before the First World War, suggested I observe which kind of insects land on which kinds of plants. In general, common spice plants like rosemary and sage and marjoram and onion/chive are left alone by little eaty critters, and planting these plants together with more vulnerable ones can reduce infestations.

    Also, most traditional regional cuisines use flavoring spices that grow locally. Why pay for fancy imports when you can grow garlic cloves or pluck leaves from the laurel at home?

  19. PHLDenizen

    Something under the radar I’ve been watching: https://www.npr.org/2021/08/26/1031119666/judge-sackler-liability-purdue-pharma-opioids-bankruptcy

    The Sackler’s bankruptcy trial wrapped up this morning. I haven’t seen anything on the final ruling yet. But in typical Sackler fashion, they managed to be some of the biggest POS’s in the fishbowl of white-collar POS’s. As part of their penne ante settlement offer, they demanded and seem poised to be granted complete, total, and utter release of civil litigation against them as individuals. Take the 4 billion and release us from all claims until the end of the time or we will oppose the settlement and litigate until the end of the time. And, of course, most of the states rolled over.

    And that 4 billion? Most of it comes at the backend of a 10 year payout window, meaning they effectively lose nothing. They’ll easily recoup that and likely make gains parking it in investment vehicles.

    The DOJ and AGs from nine hold-out states failed to convince Judge Drain that the settlement was unconscionable:

    Critics of the deal, including attorneys general for nine states as well as the U.S. Justice Department, say it fails to hold the Sacklers accountable and improperly denies people harmed by OxyContin the chance to sue the family directly.

    Drain has rejected those arguments, suggesting repeatedly that without a settlement of this kind thousands of lawsuits against the Sacklers would move forward at the same time, creating legal chaos.

    “Creating legal chaos”. Tough fscking sh*t. I’m not even sure what “legal chaos” is supposed to mean. Doesn’t sound like something a serious jurist would say. It’s white collar criminal enablement. It DOES sound like something Eric Holder would advocate. Deaths of despair are chaos. But we’ve reached the point where chaos is ranked hierarchically along what’s socially permissible.

    Supporters of this bankruptcy plan, including most state and local governments, say it will, if approved, channel billions of dollars of aid over the next decade to addiction treatment and health care programs.

    So 4 billion to NGOs and PMC do-gooders looking to apply “smart” solutions in a world where the only smart and human solution is rewriting the social contract.

    And as another display of their hubris, which even plutocrat friendly Drain pushed back on, they wanted immunity for everything OUTSIDE the scope of Purdue:

    In exchange they demanded sweeping legal protections for themselves and hundreds who worked with them.

    As written, the settlement would block a wide range of civil suits relating to the Sacklers’ long involvement with Purdue Pharma.

    In a heated exchange, Drain said the releases would cover potential misconduct that has nothing to do with Oxycontin sales or opioids.

    “I don’t see why we’re covering them in the release for non-opioid conduct,” Drain said. “Why? There’s no money being paid [by the Sacklers] for that.”

    Reads like an attempt to buy silence from co-conspirators. Maybe there’s another shoe to drop for non-opioid crimes.

    This world fscking sucks.

  20. Pat

    Perhaps I am being unfair, but another advantage for vaccines determined by our psychopathic idiot leadership’s handling of practically all things is the automatic assumption that in any gathering between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated which end up with infections it must be the unvaccinated that were the source. Since we do not track and trace, it is very easy to finger point. Meanwhile in actuality EVERYONE at a gathering could be an infection vector regardless of vaccination status. In a three day period I was told about friends who got Covid after going to get together where there were unvaccinated people.

    All of this is in service to the magic bullet solution for Covid – vaccines. God, I am so tired of our deeply dishonest, divisive and yes anti reality public health plan, which even as it is failing spectacularly they are doubling down on it. I am not against vaccines, even if I think there are many unknowns about the ones being pushed. I am, however, against them being portrayed as anything but a tool meant to provide some protection against hospitalization and death, but only in conjunction with other methods. Being honest like this couldn’t have been allowed because it didn’t allow us to go back to before the disease.

    Sort of like saying perhaps there might not be dead Americans in Afghanistan if our military leaders had planned and implemented a coordinated exit, rather than acting like spoiled children and doing practically nothing hoping the tantrum would make weekend Daddy change his mind and give in to them.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Thank you for posting, Pat.

      And, sotto voce, let me tell everyone the story of a wedding I attended a few months ago. At this wedding, there were vaccinated and unvaccinated people. We all got along great and had a wonderful time.

      Number of COVID cases resulting from this event: Zero.

      Perhaps we got lucky, I don’t know, but there’s my anecdata for today.

  21. Hiroyuki

    “While most police officers are trying to protect people and treat the public fairly, a disturbingly large minority are authoritarian bullies with overtly or covertly racist beliefs. The central obstacle to reforming police practices, and restoring trust between Black communities and the people entrusted with their protection, is ridding departments of their worst members. ”
    So, the worst police are the ones who wont get vaccinated? Even though they are likely disproportionately African American?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It sounds like an effort to weasel out of facing up to the hard necessity of crushing, destroying, smashing, exterminating and de-certifying the blue fascist police unions. Easier to set up some kind of culture-war proxy filter and hoping the ” bad apples” will “self-deport themselves” from the police departments.

  22. Pat

    Thanks, Slim. I am really glad that everyone is safe and Covid free! I want that for people. (Okay I still really wish most of Obama’s “friends and family” weren’t, but that is part of evil me.)

    I just wish there were facts and not assumptions behind the accusations in the two anecdotes told me. Oh and that they weren’t told in such a smug self righteous tone. Two.

    I worry about my friends kids. I worry about my friends who are teachers. And I continue to worry about the people in my grocery And deli and coffee shop. As I am sure we all do.

    Too bad they are merely numbers for most of the people who get to decide our policies.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Will Stancil
    So something is happening here in Minneapolis that really shows how too many Democrats have responded to last summer’s protests: by ostentatiously embracing police and opposing police reform, in the name of savvy politics.’

    This is true right across the board. You saw just recently the squad coordinate their votes (which they claimed before was not possible) to get $2 billion for the Capital Police to turn them into the 17th intelligence service.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Squad-members were probably personally rattled and scared by the implications of what certainly looked to them like an early amatuer effort by fascistrumpanons to invade the Capitol and kill certain targeted officeholders.

      So they want to have a stronger Capitol Police in place to repel the more professional invasion and assassination attempts they suspect will be made by Rebublicanazi fascitrumpanons. Which are a real thing, even if sufferers from Liberal Democrat Derangement Syndrome wish to believe otherwise.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If it was money enough to strengthen the show ponies of the Capitol Police in DC I would agree. But this money is being used to set up offices all across the nation (and probably eventually overseas like the FBI) which is why I refereed to them becoming the the 17th intelligence service. So, for this coordinated vote they got what exactly? Nancy’s gratitude?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          So it was for more than just Capitol Defense? For worldwide spying as well? Well, that’s not so good.

          It should have been more limited to physical Capitol Zone defense. Maybe they thought the other 16 Intelligence Agencies do not and will not care about any threats to actual people in the Capitol Building, so they had to track it all themselves.

          And Nancy? Nancy doesn’t do gratitude.

  24. Mikel


    5 months now for boosters.
    They are out of their minds. An experiment going TOO FAR.
    What’s the expiration date on those leftover vaccines? Send them to some countries that haven’t got enough for one shot. Especially since the govt can’t be bothered to be concerned about international travel and the spread.

    No where I want to go bad enough to jack myself up every 5 months with some drugs that are still trying to finish trials on. And they don’t want to take time to see the long term effects of all these shots. A few months is not “long term”.

  25. Carolinian

    Even I, sometime defender of Walmart, think this is appalling. Post NAFTA they have 2,610 stores in Mexico


    It’s one thing to bring the Benton behemoth to a small Southern mill town with an already dead downtown. We had no culture to vandalize. But sounds like these American chains are a wrecking ball south of the border.

    Mexico City has a large central square, the Zocalo. Perhaps they could turn it into a Supercenter.

  26. urblintz


    “Worldwide, most animal infections were reported in species that had close contact with a person with COVID-19, according to the agency.

    The USDA reported last month that white-tailed deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, based on a study that analyzed serum samples from free-ranging deer for antibodies to the disease.”

  27. john sweeney

    Jonathan Chait: “If cops decide to walk away over the vaccine mandate, they’ll have accomplished what decades of reform efforts have failed to do: weed out the most dangerous cops.”…… So…his base premise is that cops who are not vaccinated are the most dangerous cops? Amazing that Chait gets paid big bucks to write this illogical and arguably ignorant nonsense.

    1. Objective Ace

      Also not clear why they would walk away. They’ve ignored plenty of other mandates before.. why would this one be any different for them?

    1. Daryl

      Wow, that’s really tone deaf by the D party. Setting aside whether the CDC should be commenting on it all and the value of doing so, clearly jeopardizes their ability to sell vaccines to people.

  28. cnchal

    > . . . Direct shippers Walmart, Home Depot and most recently Dollar Tree have turned to dedicated charter operations to move goods around the bottlenecks.” • Turning boats into bridges…

    Bottlenecks are for those caught in the middle. The bulk of the problem is that companies have ordered too much with the hope of getting enough amid the fear of getting none.

    Walmart has a lot of room to raise prices now that the next level down has a shipping expense nightmare.

    And, flying the crapola over is insane. Liveable air outside, gone in less than a century at the rate we are going.

  29. Mikel

    • “It remains to be seen how long this natural immunity can last. Another missing data point: The actual number of people already infected in the United States. Since our testing system is so miserably inadequate, we have no idea. I would imagine it’s a large number, especially among essential workers…”

    See how much they DON’T know, but they want people to get $hots every 5 months…

  30. ambrit

    Son of Mini Zeitgeist Report.
    Just got back from weekly shopping. Empty shelves in every store I visited.
    Of note, no spam like products left in WalMart or Winn Dixie. Very low stock in the rice and beans section. Strangely enough, near total emptiness in the fruit juice and sports drink sections. Strange to see since the “panic buying” for the aproaching hurricane IDA hasn’t really begun yet.
    Even empty shelves in the Jo-Ann Store sewing and notions shop.
    The “Ghetto” WalMart, my local outlet, had a “We’re Hiring” table set up inside the main entrance. While waiting in one of the three check out lines with a live cashier I heard the Manager ask the cashiers to work overtime. (When a Bigg Boxx Store manager offers overtime, that is a sign or real trouble. They, the managers, are almost conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to avoid paying overtime to workers.)
    Stay safe!

  31. The Rev Kev

    You can’t keep a good war-monger down. So John Bolton went on the Washington Post’s ‘Please Go On’ podcast to say that it would be a really good idea to go after Pakistan now because if the place falls, you will have some of their nukes ending up coming over the Mexican border. And that China should be blamed for this. And that Pakistan should be forced to get into a fight with their neighbours the Taliban so essentially having the war move over the border from Afghanistan to Pakistan-


    The guy deserves to end up in a rubber room but when he karks it, you know that he will get the sort of funeral that John McCain got.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Actually, if Pakistan goes full metal jihadi, I suspect India-Russia-China have a very quiet very joint plan to secure the Pakistan nukes without getting the West upset or involved.

  32. VietnamVet

    “I demand accountability.”

    ‘Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic air base, before we evacuate everyone? Did anyone do that?’

    This did not happen in 1975 instead Chuck Norris made left behind movies and the VA DC Medical Center flies the black POW/MIA flag.

    The DC Metro Police retaking the Capitol is what allowed Mike Pence to declare Joe Biden President.

    The whole system depends on teachers, police, utility linemen, garbage collectors, civil servants, healthcare staff, firefighters, and soldiers doing their jobs. If the global upper management is this corrupt and incompetent, sooner or later, essential workers will not answer the call. Continual lying assures a reset. This is why the Soviet Union fell. It is not what the powerful want, but it is certain with the failure to eradicate coronavirus and the collapse of globalism. Nations are necessary for civilization. Good governance is necessary to serve and protect the people and prevent unrest.

    China may be the only civilization to survive the 21st century.

  33. The Rev Kev

    Minor report from the Antipodes. So NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has decided to cut down the amount of information that she has been giving the public and is substituting hand-waving instead. Insists that the Doherty plan will take us back to a more normal life but has decided to ignore ‘breakthrough” cases because they are not in the plan. Meanwhile the State’s medical services are starting to crack with only 1,000 new cases a day-


    Meanwhile, Scotty from Marketing has been using his extensive PMC skills by calling the entire population of our largest State a bunch of cave people. Says that the present situation is like the film “The Croods” and says ‘Some wanted to stay in the cave and the young girl wanted to deal with the challenges of living in a different world. Covid is a different world and we need to get out and live in it. We can’t stay in the cave.’ Ignores the fact that people are living their lives in Western Australia like it is 2019 through a policy of eradication of this virus instead of suppression aka living with the virus-


      1. The Rev Kev

        Basil mentioned that link in a comment the other day and it got hoisted to Links the other night – and rightly so. Is there a D Notice in operation about criticisms of this report? I read it to say that there is going to be a helluva butcher’s bill before we are finished. Last year Coronavirus killed so many people in part because the medical services were overwhelmed and people died that ordinarily could be saved. This will be the same.

        I know that W. A.’s medical services could not cope with a rush of ill people and I suspect that it would be the same for all the other States. Gladys wants to open up nearly everything when NSW is about 70% vaccinated in a few short weeks time. Think that we here in Qld will do the same for them when we are at only about 30% vaccinated? I hope that Gladys will be well rewarded because all those deaths are all on her. Doesn’t matter she was aided & abetted by Scotty as she is the one that allowed this virus to spread on purpose. The rest of Oz should bill her for what it has cost us.

        1. skippy

          The Labour states are not going to follow Gladys or Mr Marketing down the neoliberal covid rule #2 e.g. Sydney and Melbourne were dead men walking before covid, it just threw metho on it, so much corruption destabilizing balance sheets and the only fix is to crank the immigration handle harder and harder … then you have to consider the dire environmental cost building which cant be hand waved away …

          Then again the federal election is in the back of some minds and – the narrative – past and present, seemingly the only thing that matters, and getting it back on track imperative. Yet here in Qld the betterhaves seem to acknowledge the quality of life here due to its management compared to the antics down south. I see it everyday and talk to such in my daily wanderings, always mentioning Lambert’s break down and the early lead NC had on so many covid dynamics as they unfold.

          BTW if you go down glenrosa rd red hill starting on the left and about 4 houses down you can see one of my houses [off green], then at the right hand bend on the right another two [off white] and then further down across the street from the rehab on the right another with the new garage and white fence. Management here in Old has enabled me to keep going during covid … Anna … good on her and team …

          1. The Rev Kev

            We have the Federal election next year and I think that Scotty wanted to use the Doherty plan to get himself re-elected. He wanted to go before people and say ‘See. I made life normal again in Australia. Now you can all jump on those jets for well deserved trips to Bali again. Vote for me.’

            Instead he will recreate what we have seen in Europe and the US down here. Either that or the other States will shut off NSW as being a hot zone. Even that will not wipe that permanent smug look on his dial. I’m sure that NZ will cut themselves off from the insanity going on in NSW but what a mess.

            1. skippy

              The key aspect of the Doherty report was it was outsourced due to decades of neoliberal whiteanting removing the Governments institutional ability all whilst skirting democratic recompense and we around here know how such reports are goal seeking anti scientific bilge to gaslight the unwashed all over the shop.

              Dang whats a body to do when you run out of commies, socialists, boat people, terrorists, or dole bludging poor people to blame all social ills on … stay tuned …

                1. skippy

                  Metaphorically – whiteants will eat painted trim, say windowsill, right to with in a millimeter of the paint on the surface and you would never know, for years, whilst they eat your entire house, until the day you put any pressure on it, and then its too late.

                  Hence why all the queenslanders I work on are still about even after 130ish years, only dramas are when fast growth pine is used in later remodels, fast and cheap seems the critical aspect.

  34. urblintz


    Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines

    “Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines

      This metastudy was linked to on 5/9. This post on 5/11 describes its publishing vicissitudes (resignations; letters of protest). This comment describes the resulting link rot. The month is now August.

      Worse, this metastudy has got the Elgazzar study in it, problematic since Elgazzar was later embarassingly withdrawn. Advocates have rerun the rankings without Elgazzar and say the conclusions are unaffected; maybe so, but to me the paper’s scholarship is called into question.

      The above comment, since it leaves out all that context, has negative value add for new readers of the site who are not familiar with the literature. If you want to dump cheerleading links, we have Reddit and Facebook for that. Go there.

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